Cubs @ Dodgers August 27, 2013: Clayton Kershaw Tries to Add to That MVP Case

August 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

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Sure, it seems a little weird that Mark Ellis is hitting fifth, higher than Andre Ethier or A.J. Ellis or Juan Uribe. But then you look at the Cubs lineup, and… wow. Only Starlin Castro, leading off and playing shortstop, is in the same spot in the lineup as he was yesterday. Veteran space-fillers Cody Ransom, Darnell McDonald, & Donnie Murphy are playing the traditional power spots in first, third, and left, while fellow castoff Cole Gillespie — not Conor Gillaspie, who is also a former San Francisco Giant currently making his home in Chicago — mans right field. Our favorite former Dodger catcher, Dioner Navarro, hits third.

And all that collection of guys has to worry about is facing the great Clayton Kershaw. So, uh, good luck with that, Dale Sveum.

Cubs
Dodgers
SS
Castro
LF
Crawford
2B
Barney
RF
Puig
C
Navarro
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Murphy
SS
Ramirez
CF
Lake
2B
M.Ellis
1B
Ransom
CF
Ethier
LF
McDonald
3B
Uribe
RF
Gillespie
C
A.Ellis
P
Wood
P
Kershaw

One superstar the Cubs won’t have to deal with is Matt Kemp, though we’re finally hearing some good news on the progress from his ankle. Kemp ran the bases for the first time today and all went well; he’ll do so again tomorrow and could play in a rehab game for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga as soon as Thursday.

When Kemp does return, we’ll have the familiar problem of “four outfielders for three spots,” as Don Mattingly spoke about today (via Tony Jackson):

“I’m not going to start making out my lineup now,” Mattingly said. “The important thing at this point in the season is us winning. Somebody’s going to be mad. I understand that. I don’t mind them being mad. That means they want to play.”

To be honest, this is something I don’t view as a problem in the least. Maybe for 2014, but not for this year. Andre Ethier‘s actually been very good over the last two months — .293/.381/.442 — and Yasiel Puig obviously plays if he’s healthy. But neither Ethier or Carl Crawford can hit lefties, and Puig has been slumping, and Kemp can’t be counted on until he can be… it’s not a problem. You can work in needed rest for them all, and in the playoffs you’ll either have the best pinch-option around or a wonderful designated hitter in the World Series. Total non-issue, as far as I’m concerned.

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