Dodgers @ D’Backs Sept. 19, 2013: Clinch While No One Is Watching

September 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

chasefieldAs you know, I’m a pretty big fan of stats. They’re great. You can do all sorts of things with them! Things that make sense — like know that pitcher wins are stupid — and things that sort of don’t, and that’s where it gets dangerous. If you use stats in the wrong way, or don’t understand what value they’re trying to infer, you can get to a point where you think you’re making an informed decision, but you’re really not. (Also, yes, 74% of all stats are made up.)

That’s how you end up with what is a somewhat interesting lineup today, as Ricky Nolasco and friends try to finish off the National League West against the Diamondbacks and Wade Miley without having to leave town with unfinished business.

Dodgers
D’Backs
RF
Puig
LF
Eaton
1B
Hairston
CF
Pollock
SS
Ramirez
1B
Goldschimdt
CF
Kemp
3B
Prado
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Hill
3B
Uribe
C
Montero
LF
Van Slyke
SS
Gregorius
C
A.Ellis
RF
Parra
P
Nolasco
P
Miley

You’ll notice at first that Adrian Gonzalez is not playing, and while I get the argument of “stop with the rest until the clinch,” pretty much everyone else is, so I can’t say that I care. Also, he has a “cramp in his quad,” so there’s that, though I imagine he’d push through it if this game were important. (Other than Carl Crawford, but Miley is a lefty, and Crawford is really a platoon bat at this point.)

But what I find interesting is that it’s not Michael Young replacing Gonzalez, it’s Jerry Hairston, who would seem to be an emergency option there at best. And as I pondered that for a minute, now I see why: Young is 0-6 against Miley in two games (one with Texas, one with Philadelphia), while Hairston is 4-10. Nevermind that hitter-vs-batter stats are among the most useless ones that exist, or that Hairston is hitting .169/.221/.211 overall in the second half, but because he got a few hits against Miley three months ago (two of which were luckily-placed grounders through the infield, by the way), he plays.

That’s also why, I’m assuming, that Mark Ellis hits fifth ahead of Juan Uribe and Scott Van Slyke, though in that case I won’t complain too much — Ellis has four homers off Miley in just 22 plate appearances, and lineup order isn’t nearly as important as who is in the line up in the first place.

Anyway, this is all the usual nerdery. If the Dodgers don’t clinch today, it really won’t make all that much difference on the postseason, but it will get an already-anxious fan base even more riled up. If for no other reason than that alone, let’s get this done today, shall we?

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