D’Backs @ Dodgers Sept. 24, 2015: Stress-Free Baseball

You’re feeling better, right? You should be. Even without Zack Greinke, the Dodgers won last night, while the Giants fell to the Padres, cutting the magic number to five. Now Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in the series finale against Arizona. You can stand down from the panic now.

D’Backs
Dodgers
12:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
RF
Inciarte
LF
Ruggiano
2B
Hill
SS
Rollins
CF
Pollock
3B
Turner
1B
Goldschmidt
2B
Kendrick
C
Castillo
1B
Van Slyke
LF
Tomas
C
Ellis
3B
Drury
CF
Heisey
SS
Owings
RF
Schebler
P
Corbin (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

You should also not waste your time with the “what is this lineup” business, because a day game after a night game when the division race is over is pretty much exactly when you want to run out seemingly-bizarre lineups. “But Corey Seager can’t possibly need rest,” you say, “because he’s only 21.”

Counterpoint: He has 661 plate appearances this season playing a longer year than he’s used to, and yes, young players can wear down late in the year.

Counterpoint 2: Considering their injury-filled Septembers, you absolutely want to know what kind of shape Justin Turner and Jimmy Rollins are in. (They haven’t started next to each other since Sept. 5, which was 19 days ago. Before today, it was the only game Seager hadn’t started since his Sept. 3 debut.)

So don’t worry about that too much. I would argue, however, that I disagree with the strategy of preventing Joc Pederson from seeing lefty pitchers. If not now, when? Do we really need a meaningless start from Chris Heisey in this meaningless game? Seems to me to be a good time to let Pederson see what lefties are like, and Patrick Corbin is a pretty decent one.

Anyway, that’s relatively unimportant. More interesting: Kershaw is up against Greinke and Jake Arrieta in what’s become one of the most fascinating Cy Young races in years. If he were to throw two straight nine-inning shutouts, it would get his ERA down to 2.01, which is both stunningly successful, and probably only third-best. Unreal.

About Mike Petriello

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