Dodgers @ Giants Sept. 25, 2013: ZITO.

September 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

attparkYou know, it’s just too bad that Dee Gordon isn’t starting at shortstop tonight, because with Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, and Juan Uribe all on the bench in favor of Michael Young, Skip Schumaker, and Jerry Hairston, there’s real “worst defensive infield of all time” potential here tonight. It won’t happen because Nick Punto is in, and he’s a fine defender, but just think about what could have been. We came so close! And also, good luck with that, Ricky Nolasco.

Unfortunately, jokes aside, there’s a real lineup concern about someone who we won’t see tonight and haven’t really seen in some time: Andre Ethier. His ankle is apparently still bothering him so much that he actually went back to Los Angeles for tests today, and while he is returning to San Francisco to be with the team, there’s worry that he won’t be available to be on the roster for the first round of the playoffs.

Dodgers
Giants
RF
Puig
CF
Pagan
LF
Crawford
LF
Blanco
CF
Kemp
1B
Belt
1B
Young
C
Posey
C
A.Ellis
RF
Pence
3B
Hairston
3B
Sandoval
2B
Schumaker
SS
Crawford
SS
Punto
2B
Abreu
P
Nolasco
P
Zito

If so, that probably guarantees spots for both Scott Van Slyke (who may have had one anyway) and Jerry Hairston (who was on the bubble for the final spot with Van Slyke and possibly Gordon), since my guess is that Don Mattingly really has no intention of carrying a speed-only guy like Gordon. If Ethier isn’t on the NLDS roster, he’s not finished for the season, since teams can make changes between rounds should they advance, but it will just make it more difficult to do so, of course, because Ethier has been pretty valuable for the last few months.

Again, rosters don’t need to be submitted until the day of Game 1, so that’s still 8 days away. We’ll have plenty of time to kick this around, but as the playoffs loom, it’s not a great sign.

In much more hilarious news, Barry Zito starts for the first time since September 2, and very likely for the final time as a Giant. After spending most of August in the bullpen, he made three awful starts — 26 baserunners and 15 earned runs in 11.2 innings — and has been on the shelf ever since. Expect him to shut down the Dodgers on three hits over 6.2 scoreless innings.

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