Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let’s Talk NLDS Play-Offs: Mets vs. Dodgers

Old Jimmy tries to get his swing on
Rookie vs. Old Vet?

A manager can’t fool around or take many chances in postseason baseball, especially when it comes to a key position like shortstop. But what should Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly, do about his Corey Seager vs. Jimmy Rollins “problem”? Seager has hit the cover off the ball in the 27 games he has played since being called up to the show (.337 batting average, 4 home runs, 17 runs batted in); he has also played solid in the field. However, Rollins, though he played his worst professional season this year (.224 batting average, 8 home runs, 41 runs batted in), and has at times looked like a grandpa in the field, has 15 years on his side (including a world series title). 

Corey Seager ripping the cover off one
In other words, Jimmy won’t rattle, but does he have any big flies left in his bat? Who would you pencil into the lineup? I would go for hot-hitting Seager for the first two games at home, and if he falters, bring in Rollins in New York.

Yasiel Puig in better days
To Puig Or Not To Puig?

Another big question for Don Mattingly and the Dodger brain trust is whether or not to include right fielder, Yasiel Puig, on the playoff roster. There appears to be an opening for a right-handed hitter since Scott Van Slyke's sore wrist is not ready for primetime, but is reinstating Puig a good idea? Many of his teammates have privately shared that he is not a positive force in the clubhouse, and he is more likely to blow out of one of his two messed up hammys again than he is to help the team win. Sounds harsh, I know, especially because I really like Puig, despite his shaky reputation in the league. He loves to play the game and plays hard, but this is a throwaway season for him. The best thing at this point is to support his teammates from the bench, get healthy, and work his butt of all winter long to come back strong next season and prove everybody wrong. I can't believe I am saying this, but I think the Dodgers should fill that last outfield spot with vanilla-flavored, Chris Heisey. Oh, man. That is sad. Sorry, Chris--prove me wrong. Please.

Who ya gonna call?
Dodger Bullpen Makes me Need a Diaper Change

I am descending into potty humor with this one, but I know I am not alone when I admit that every time I see Don Mattingly signal for a pitching change, I feel like I do after eating a bad burrito. Aside from closer Kenley Jansen, who is having another stellar season, the bullpen has been pretty atrocious most of the year. I will say that some of the guys are showing improvement lately, but on the whole, these guys just can't seem to hold a lead or keep things close. It's pretty evident that if the Dodgers fail to make a big splash this postseason, the bullpen will probably be the main cause. Kershaw and Greinke will probably be light’s out, but they will need other guys to hold it down for the eighth and ninth and maybe even the seventh, given how many innings Mattingly has left them out there during the regular season. Chris Hatcher and Pedro Baez make me the most nervous when they take the mound. How about you?

So...Mets Or Dodgers? Who Do You Pick?

I am going with the Dodgers in 4 games. Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke should take care of Games 1 and 2 at home, as they have proved their dominance all season. The Dodgers won't be able to fight jetlag in Game 3 and will lose to Mets ace, Matt Harvey. Kershaw will take the ball on short rest for Game 4 and wrap things up. If not, the Dodgers can count on their other standout, Grienke, to continue his amazing season in Game 5 at Dodgers Stadium.

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