Anybody starting to wonder whether Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly just doesn’t want to pick between Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford when facing a left-hander?
There is that benefit, but Mattingly has good reason for sitting both as he is doing again Saturday against Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley.
For the second time in a week since he’s had all of his outfielders available, Mattingly elected to sit both left-handed hitters Ethier and Crawford, starting Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke. He also sat second baseman Dee Gordon, who only leads the team with a .405 batting average, in favor of right-hander Justin Turner.
Mattingly’s using the same type of lineup he did April 5 against San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner, a game the Dodgers lost, 7-2. The only left-handed hitter in the lineup is Adrian Gonzalez (.278 lifetime vs. left-handed pitchers).
The Dodgers are batting just .191 against left-handers this season, 12th in the National League, and Ethier (.221) and Crawford (.206) struggled against them last season. The Dodgers hit .253 against left-handers in 2013.
So for now, this is the way Mattingly is going. It gives him a pair of powerful pinch-hitters should the Diamondbacks at some point go to a right-handed reliever. It certainly seems worth a try.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times