Cubs @ Dodgers August 28, 2015: Okay, So It Is A Benching

Oh, right. A home game. I barely remember what those are like, it’s been so long. The last time the Dodgers played in Los Angeles, Wilton Guerrero, Ron Cey, and Carl Furillo were all in the lineup. I think. (*Note: may not be true.)

Cubs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Fowler
SS
Rollins
RF
Denorfia
2B
Utley
3B
Bryant
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Rizzo
3B
Turner
2B
Castro
RF
Ethier
LF
Szczur
LF
Crawford
C
Montero
C
Grandal
P
Hammel (R)
CF
Hernandez
SS
Russell
P
Kershaw (L)

Not in the lineup: Joc Pederson, who sits against righty Jason Hammel and gives this thread its name. As we’ve been talking about all week, Pederson’s “benching” had been for all of one game due to the lefty-heavy schedule the Dodgers have been facing, and with Jon Lester on the hill tomorrow, it sure seems likely Pederson sits again.

Also not in the lineup, now or any time soon: Yasiel Puig, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list today due to the right hamstring he injured in Cincinnati. I know that some expected no move would happen because we’re only a few days away from the Sept. 1 roster expansion, but with it seeming clear that Puig would be out for at least 10 days (if not more), there was no reason to play short-handed all weekend. Jose Peraza was recalled to add depth off the bench.

In the lineup: Adrian Gonzalez, who claimed yesterday that he was “100%” going to be in there today after leaving early.

In the lineup: Carl Crawford! Who just can’t seem to buy any respect. I can’t tell you the amount of times that people insist he’s been useless as a Dodger and are shocked when I point them to his back-to-back three-win seasons, or claim that he’s “been terrible this year” based on 104 scattered plate appearances around a long disabled list stint. This is Crawford’s first start in a week — another casualty of the lefty run — and just his ninth since returning nearly six weeks ago. Which is to say, he’s not really had a ton of opportunity to get it going, but over the last 30 days, he’s hitting .300/.349/.425. That’s just 44 plate appearances with a .407 BABIP, of course, but with Puig out, he’s suddenly a key contributor.

Oh, and Clayton Kershaw faces Jason Hammel, who is so much better than you think he is, in what’s actually a pretty marquee pitching matchup. There’s that, too. Pay attention to that.

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.