Dodgers @ D’Backs Sept. 18, 2013: Time to Clinch

September 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

chasefieldStephen Fife is on the mound tonight, pitching to Tim Federowicz, backed by a left-side infield of Michael Young and Nick Punto as the Dodgers try to clinch the National League West for the first time since 2009. Just the way you drew it up when you envisioned this in the spring, right?

Maybe not, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure at this point we’ll take what we can get. A lot has happened in the four years since Joe Torre‘s team pushed into the playoffs for the second year in a row — that team failing to get to the World Series is really “the one that got away” in my mind, moreso than the 2008 version — from the McCourt disaster to the legal battles to some really, boring, uninspired baseball. Finally, after four years of all that — feel free to read the archives — this team is on the verge of making it official.

Dodgers
D’Backs
RF
Puig
LF
Eaton
LF
Crawford
CF
Pollock
3B
Young
1B
Goldschimdt
1B
Gonzalez
2B
Hill
CF
Kemp
C
Montero
2B
M.Ellis
3B
Davidson
SS
Punto
RF
Parra
C
Federowicz
SS
Owings
P
Fife
P
McCarthy

We’re about to be fans of a playoff team, and good lord, is that fun to say.

Now as for who is out there to make it happen aside from those mentioned above… Carl Crawford is in the lineup against Brandon McCarthy, which is a great sign, and he’ll be standing next to Matt Kemp, which is an even better one.

You’ll notice that you don’t see Hanley Ramirez, but that’s all according to plan, according to Eric Stephen:

The plan for Ramirez, concocted with director of medical services Stan Conte, is for Ramirez to play but also mix in several off days before the playoffs.

“The way Stan said we could use Hanley is to have him play a day, maybe off a few days, trying to keep him sharp but get him totally ready,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think Hanley feels Hanley is 100%, and we’re not going to throw him out there until he is comfortable.”

As we learn just how fragile Ramirez can be, I don’t think anyone can really argue with that. I’ve been saying for weeks that these games aren’t all that important. After tonight — hopefully — it’ll be official. (And if it is, if they do clinch tonight, you just wait for how fun tomorrow’s 12:40pm getaway day lineup will be. I’m expecting Davey Lopes and Fernando Valenzuela to both be in the lineup. Or put Scott Van Slyke at shortstop. It’s going to be one of those games. But first things first.)

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