The Recent History Of Dodger Post-Clinch Lineups

One thing I’m looking forward today is seeing who the Dodgers bring out for their post-clinch party lineup. It’s a good time to get the regulars some extra rest and get some experience for the younger players. The Dodgers are almost guaranteed to be the second seed at this point, so they’re not really playing for much anymore.

The post-clinch lineups can be entertaining, so I thought it would be fun to go back to some previous seasons. It’s a good excuse for a “remember that guy?” exercise, anyways.

2013 (West)

This is definitely a fun one. Skip Schumaker, batting third! Nick Buss getting playing time. Also the last hurrah of Alex Castellanos and Drew Butera playing first base for some reason. Not surprisingly, this lineup was shut out by the Padres 2-0.

2009 (West)

This was a game 162 at home, so many of the regulars played for the fans. The big story here was that these were the last plate appearances of Mientkiewicz’ major league career. He did not hit in the playoffs that season. Also making an appearance was A.J. Ellis, in one of his first major league starts. Before this game, he only had nine major league plate appearances. It’s easy to forget how long he was in the upper levels of the Dodger system before he finally got a chance as a full time regular.

This lineup ended up beating the Rockies 5-3.

2008 (West)

The Dodgers weren’t playing for much the day after they clinched the division in 2008 since it was assured that they’d have the worst division winning record, but this definitely doesn’t look like a normal post-clinch lineup. It consisted of mostly regulars, though I forgot that Danny Ardoin existed until just now. The Dodgers lost to the Giants 6-5.

2006 (Wild Card)

Another game 162, but this one was on the road. This was sort of a semi-clinch lineup, but at this point the Dodgers only had a wildcard spot secured and they entered play tied with the Padres for the division lead. Since both teams made the playoffs, they didn’t need to play a game 163, but this day’s events still determined if the Dodgers were going to play the Mets or the Cardinals. They beat the Giants 4-3, but the Padres also won, so the Dodgers ended up with the wild card and a matchup with the Mets, who swept them in three games.

Julio Lugo was batting third! Which, looking back at his game logs, seemed like a regular occurrence that my memory apparently blacked out. This was Lugo’s last regular season game for the Dodgers before his departure netted them the draft pick used to select Chris Withrow. I honestly have no recollection of Toby Hall one way or the other. And this is when James Loney had such promise, too.

2004 (West)

If you don’t remember Jose Flores, that’s totally understandable. Flores only had ten major league plate appearances, four of which occurred on this day. He collected his first major league hit in his final plate appearance and never played again in the majors. This was also Adrian Beltre’s final regular season game as a Dodger.

This lineup got trounced by the Giants by a score of 10-0, and it featured Future Dodger Jason Schmidt starting and Other Future Dodger Kevin Correia finishing the game.

We’re not sure who will start tonight, but it seems like by virtue of clinching a bit earlier than usual, we’ll get to have a bit more fun than some of these. Hopefully somebody looks back on tonight’s lineup in ten years and is entertained, but sees some more recognizable names.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.