Dodgers vs. Braves lineups: Chris Taylor will not start in NLCS Game 6
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the ankle felt better than Taylor anticipated and he expects to be available off the bench Saturday. Taylor, according to Roberts, didn’t need to take any tests. Taylor injured the ankle when he slipped making a throw from left field in the eighth inning Friday. He initially stayed in the game but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Without the right-handed-hitting Taylor, the Dodgers will have right-handed hitters Kiké Hernández and Austin Barnes in the starting lineup against left-hander Max Fried. Hernández, who homered off Fried in Game 1, will play second base. Barnes will catch. Will Smith, as a result, will move over to designated hitter after clubbing the go-ahead three-run home run in Game 5.
Mookie Betts’ third-inning catch in Game 5 of the NLCS changed the momentum and helped the Dodgers rally for a season-saving win.
Hernández’s solo home run off Fried in Game 1 was the only damage the Dodgers inflicted against the left-hander. Fried allowed the one run on four hits in six innings. The Harvard-Westlake High graduate had nine strikeouts.
Walker Buehler will again oppose Fried. The right-hander, still dealing with blisters on his index and middle fingers, has set career highs for walks in each of his last two outings. He issued five walks across five innings in Game 1. He hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning since Aug. 21 — seven starts ago when the blisters first surfaced.
Tony Gonsolin will be available out of the bullpen as a last resort; the Dodgers would prefer holding him out to start Game 7. But they needed to force a Game 7 first.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Will Smith DH
Cody Bellinger CF
AJ Pollock LF
Kiké Hernández 2B
Austin Barnes C
Walker Buehler RHP
Ronald Acuña Jr. RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Marcell Ozuna DH
Travis d’Arnaud C
Ozzie Albies 2B
Dansby Swanson SS
Austin Riley 3B
Nick Markakis LF
Cristian Pache CF
Max Fried LHP
Corey Seager hit two home runs in Game 5 of the NLCS, but the Dodgers shortstop says it means little if the team can’t “win at the end of the year.”
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