Sean Newcomb is left-handed and almost no-hit the Dodgers once this year. The other time the Dodgers faced him, they lit him up. Which Newcomb will they face today? Maybe it’s not which pitcher they face… maybe it’s what approach the hitters take and you will see a different approach because there will be different hitters tonight. Most likely this will be the lineup:
- C – Grandal (You don’t take out a guy who has caught back-to-back shutouts… especially when he is a switch-hitter)
- 1B – Freese
- 2B – Dozier (Here’s your chance, Brian)
- SS – The usual
- 3B – The usual
- LF – Kemp
- CF – Taylor
- RF – Kike
The lineup is more problematic, because you have to think like Doc, but this is likely the lineup:
- Taylor CF
- Turner 3B
- Freese 1B
- Machado SS
- Kemp LF
- Kike RF
- Grandal C
- Dozier 2B (But Bull could lead-off – with Doc, you never know)
There’s really no right answer as to where players hit, in my opinion because, like I always say: “Bloom where you are planted.” It’s up to the hitters to hit whereever they are. I am not a big fan of the All Righty lineup, but there are some potent and patient bats there. They should be able to handle Newcomb. Newcomb is often called “a horse” because he is 6′ 5″ and 255 pounds. Good, let the Dodgers RIDE him! Make no mistake, Newcomb is a very good pitcher – he was the 15th pick in the 2014 draft (that’s how bad teams get good again) and can hit triple digits. He has four pitches, although none as good as his fastball.
Striker (I refuse to call him Walker) Buehler
It’s easier said than done, but to beat Newcomb, the Dodgers need to make him throw strikes and then hit THEIR pitch. Simple to say – Hard to do! Newcomb is of the same ilk as Striker Buehler. When is he going to change his name? I will pay for it! Walker may have been his great grandafthers name or maybe his parents were Chuck Norris fans and named him Walker after that Texas Ranger. At any rate, baby Buehler was not born a pitcher, but he evolved and developed into one. Walks are bad for pitchers. Strikes are good. Get rid of all the negative influences on the mound – Change your name to Striker. I said I would pay for it! If you were an opposing player, who would you be more afraid of, a guy named Walker or a beast named Striker? I rest my case! Striker Buehler goes today!
This Team is Built for the Post Season
The pitching is dramatically deeper than last year with the health of Ryu and the arrival of Striker. That alone makes the bullpen deeper with Wood and Maeda being pushed there. Forget the stats: that’s history, this is what counts. Pedro Baez has been unhittable, Caleb Ferguson is very solid and Dylan Floro has a superior ERA. Ryan Madson and Scott Alexander are the mop-up guys. Even though last years bullpen included Brandon Morrow, I think the playoff version of the 2018 Dodger bullpen is better than last years version.
The bench is much deeper, no matter if lefties or righties are hitting. Matt Kemp, David Freeze and even Brian Dozier are dangerous, experienced hitters. However, the biggest differece in this 2018 version of the Dodgers is that they are battle-tested, they have scars and they have experience. They are determined and galvanized to win this all. Sean Newcomb is capable of shutting them down, but Striker Buehler is also capable of the same. Tonight’s game could very well be won by the bullpen. It might be 0-0 going into the 7th inning. Both of these young pitchers are destined for greatness… but I think the Dodger’s experience and determination will win out.
- The Astros are about to finish off the Indians and the Brewers are about to do the same to the Rockies. However, this is baseball and it ain’t over until you squeeze that final out.
- David Price again shows he can’t be trusted in the post-season where he has a 2-9 record with a 5.28 ERA. This is a classic case of why you should not sign aging pitchers to a long-term contract. I would not be the least bit surprised to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox. Again, I think the Yanks are built for the Post-Season… much like the Dodgers.