Advertisement
Dodgers

Dodgers’ NLDS Game 5 lineup: Matt Beaty is at first base, Enrique Hernandez in left field

Enrique Hernandez will start in left field for the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez hits a two-run double off Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin during the sixth inning in Game 3.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ starting lineup for the National League Division Series Game 5 on Wednesday must have been a topic of debate, conflicting opinions and a sleepless night for team decision-makers. While the Washington Nationals’ lineup has been pretty much constant, the Dodgers had difficult decisions.

Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty or veteran David Freese on the right side of the infield?

Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor or A.J. Pollock in left field?

Rookie Will Smith or veteran Russell Martin at catcher?

Advertisement

Answers were unveiled along with the entire lineup Wednesday afternoon:

Joc Pederson RF
Max Muncy 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Cody Bellinger CF
Matt Beaty 1B
Corey Seager SS

Advertisement

Enrique Hernandez LF
Will Smith C
Walker Buehler P

Beaty, a rookie left-handed hitter, started over Pollock in left field in Game 4 and is two for five in the series with no strikeouts. He’ll start at first base tonight , with Max Muncy moving to second base. That puts Freese and Lux on the bench. Beaty is batting fifth, ahead of Corey Seager and behind Cody Bellinger. He batted .286 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 217 at-bats against right-handed pitchers during the regular season.

Hernandez, a right-handed hitter, hasn’t started in the series and is one for three with a key two-run double in pinch-hitting appearances. He’ll get his first start today in left field.

“I love [Enrique’s] defense,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Freese, 36, is one of the best postseason hitters in MLB history with a .300 average and .923 OPS in 229 at-bats. This is his 14th postseason series and he was MVP of the 2011 World Series and NLCS. He’s four for seven in this series with a double. That resume wasn’t enough to earn him a start.

“I love Freese coming off the bench for an at-bat against a left-handed reliever like [Patrick] Corbin or [Sean] Doolittle,” Roberts said.

Lux, the Dodgers’ top prospect, was in the big leagues all of a month before the playoffs. He provides strong defense at second base and is two for nine in the series with a double. In Game 2, he struck out in all three at-bats, twice against Strasburg, and he, too, will come off the bench.

Advertisement

Pollock was seven for 14 against Strasburg entering the series, but struck out three times against him in Game 2. He is an abysmal 0 for 12 with 10 strikeouts in the series and is also on the bench.

Smith will catch and bat eighth instead of Martin, whose two-run double and two-run home run keyed the Dodgers’ Game 3 win in Washington. That was expected since Roberts said as much on a conference call Tuesday.

The concern with the 36-year-old Martin is that although he is masterful behind the plate when softer-throwing Hyun-Jin Ryu is on the mound, he could get handcuffed by Buehler’s 98-mph fastball and electric breaking pitches.

Smith is one for nine in the NLDS, but his only hit was a single against Strasburg in Game 2.

The Nationals’ lineup looks familiar. The only noteworthy name is Michael A. Taylor, who again is starting in center field for Victor Robles, who pulled a hamstring in Game 2.

Trea Turner SS
Adam Eaton RF
Anthony Rendon 3B
Juan Soto LF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 1B

Advertisement

Kurt Suzuki C
Michael A. Taylor CF
Stephen Strasburg P


Newsletter
Get our weekly Dodgers Dugout newsletter
Advertisement