NLCS Game 1: Let’s Get This Party Started

October 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Posted in 2013 NLCS, Game Threads | Leave a comment

buschstadiumAndre Ethier is back! …And he’s hitting seventh, for just the second time since 2009. And people aren’t pleased by that, because there’s always something to complain about.

Normally, I’d be on board with that. Mark Ellis was one of the lesser Dodger hitters in the NLDS, and is one of the weaker bats in the lineup overall. You don’t generally want those guys getting the most plate appearances, and you especially don’t want Hanley Ramirez batting without men on base. Ethier has at least homered off of Cards starter Joe Kelly before, while Ellis is hitless in eight tries.

Dodgers
Cardinals
LF
Crawford
2B
Carpenter
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Beltran
SS
Ramirez
LF
Holliday
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Adams
RF
Puig
C
Molina
3B
Uribe
CF
Jay
CF
Ethier
3B
Freese
C
A.Ellis
SS
Kozma
P
Greinke
P
Kelly

But tonight, I think it’s important to remember that Ethier has barely played in an entire month, and putting him out there in center field represents a pretty sizable risk, given what we’ve heard about the state of his ankle. If it quickly becomes apparent that this isn’t going to work and that you need Skip Schumaker out there, well, I don’t think any of us wants to see him batting any higher than is absolutely necessary.

If Ethier holds up, you can play with the order in a later game; for now, I don’t mind it. Besides, suddenly a 6/7/8 of Juan Uribe, Ethier, and A.J. Ellis, well, that’s not a bad bottom of the order at all. (Especially with Zack Greinke hitting too.)

We learned a little more about the pitching staff  — Hyun-jin Ryu will start Game 3 and Ricky Nolasco 4, as expected, and Chris Capuano is not hurt — but that’s a discussion for another time. For now? NLCS IS GO.

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