If you looked at the Dodger’s lineup before their game against the Dbacks on Tuesday evening and grimaced then you are probably not alone. When I saw the lineup I did the same. I actually had to slap myself and douse my face with water to ensure I was awake. The lineup resembled one you would see from the Oklahoma City Dodgers. It was a little, ummm whacky.
The lineup had Enrique Hernandez batting lead-off again, Austin Barnes at second base and Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson on the bench. Will Smith batted fifth and did the catching, and Chris Taylor batted cleanup. Despite the unorthodox lineup card, the Dodgers were able to defeat the dbacks 3-2 and even their three game series.
I originally thought that the Dodgers would be lucky to score one run let alone three. Hernandez smacked a lead-off homer, and the Dodgers added two more runs on run scoring doubles from Taylor and Justin Turner. It was just enough to get the win. Tradition be damned.
If these weird lineups bother you, and I don’t blame you if they do, I’m sorry to say that you’re probably going to have to get used to it. The Dodgers now 55-26 have the best record in baseball and a 13 game lead in the National League West. That means they’re playing with house money. They’re so far ahead that they can experiment with strange lineup configurations and constant platooning. Experiment they will.
The Dodgers love multi-positional players. We all know the deep versatile Dodgers love moving guys around the diamond. I guess the game is evolving that way anyways. Dodger’s president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman loves this the most.
Friedman loves the idea of the Dodgers winning with the oddest lineup. If the Dodgers can win multiple baseball games with a lineup consisting entirely of journeyman, utility players and reclamation projects then he looks smarter than any other baseball executive in the game. In addition all of the twitters can crown him a baseball genius.
I jest naturally, but let’s not get too upset about these weird Dodger lineups. At the same time the Dodgers don’t need to go as far as they want to, or as far as Friedman’s fantasies. Logic should always have weight. It’s never ok to punt away a game. But remember until these games start meaning anything and until Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock return from the injured list, expect a lot of bizarre lineups and crazy platoons. It will definitely irritate you. With Tony Gonsolin making his MLB debut in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon, don’t be surprised when Austin Barnes is batting third. Hernandez will bat lead-off again and Russell Martin can bat second and play third base. Joe Kelly can bat cleanup and Yimi Garcia can play short with Matt Beaty pitching out of the bullpen and….alright, I’ll just shut up.