D’Backs @ Dodgers, Sept. 22, 2015: Must Win This Meaningless Game

THIS GAME IS A MUST-WIN.

D’Backs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
SS
Ahmed
LF
Ruggiano
2B
Owings
2B
Kendrick
CF
Pollock
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Goldschmidt
RF
Van Slyke
C
Saltalamacchia
SS
Seager
RF
Tomas
C
Ellis
LF
Peralta
CF
Heisey
3B
Drury
3B
Guerrero
P
Ray (L)
P
Wood (L)

I mean, in so much as late-September games against eliminated opponents when you have a seven-game lead in the division with 13 games remaining can be a must win, which is to say, no, this isn’t actually a must-win or anything remotely close to it.

And yet, you can feel the panic, since the Dodgers are 5-5 in their last 10 (oh no!) and have lost three in a row (run!), and while I can sympathize with some of that — I’m the first to say these games are boring and tedious and the playoffs can’t come soon enough, so you’ve got to find something of interest — it’s also probably worth remembering how often we’re seeing lineups that include Chris Heisey and Alex Guerrero. Like tonight! Tonight is one of those nights, as the all-righty outfield comes out to greet Arizona lefty Robbie Ray, and the total lack of alternatives allows Guerrero another start.

So when I say the game is a “must-win,” it’s not due to anything that has any impact on the remainder of the season or in the postseason. It’s simply to quiet down the fans who are worried the team isn’t playing with “enough passion,” whatever that means. Really, my goals right now are simple: Do what needs to be done to keep the people satiated. A win tonight would do that. Maybe.

Interestingly enough, one move was made: Adam Liberatore, who hasn’t pitched since facing the Memphis Redbirds 11 days ago, has been recalled. Why?

“Just another arm to protect us, not that we don’t have enough,” said Mattingly. “Jim Johnson will be gone a day or two, and we just want to replace that arm.”

Johnson left the team for the birth of his child.

That’s now 37 active players. THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH PITCHERS. September baseball is so bizarre.

About Mike Petriello

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