Tonight’s lineup: Matt Kemp sits, Juan Pierre bats ninth

Not to brag on myself, but your humble correspondent was the first reporter to ask Joe Torre during spring training whether, on the nights when JP is in the starting lineup, he would consider batting JP ninth and the pitcher eighth. Well, tonight, he is actually doing it (not that I’m claiming he is doing it on my suggestion, because I’m sure that isn’t the case). Anyway, the rationale is that you can still bat Manny third so he comes up in the first inning, but in subsequent innings, you have three table-setters hitting AHEAD of Manny so that Manny, in effect, is batting fourth. And before anyone suggests it, no, it ISN’T because Joe thinks Eric Stults is a better hitter that JP.

Stults becomes the first Dodgers starting pitcher not to bat ninth since Don Drysdale batted seventh on Aug. 15, 1965 against Pittsburgh. That day, according to Elias Sports Bureau, catcher John Roseboro hit 8th (1-for-4) and shortstop John Kennedy hit 9th (0-for-2, BB, K). The Dodgers lost 4-2, and Drysdale went 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts before being pulled after 6.0 innings of work.

By the way, Ethier is back in the cleanup spot, Martin drops to sixth.

Furcal 6
Hudson 4
Ramirez 7
Ethier 9
Loney 3
Martin 2
Blake 5
Stults 1
Pierre 8

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    I agree that it isn’t because Torre thinks Stults is a better hitter than Pierre. However, the fact that Stults is a good hitting pitcher might have something to do with it. And it doesn’t hurt that he hits lefthanded. Also, later in the game it could give Manny the opportunity to bat behind three consecutive lefthanded hitters (two switch hitters), all of whom have speed.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Could it be that our “humble correspondent” is losing some of his humility? 🙂

  • bryboiblue

    That means that Lincecum is going to get a stretch where five of the six batters he’s facing are hitting from the left side, the one exception being Manny. So far this season, lefties are hitting .189 off of him and righties .304 (go figure). Last year, lefties and righties each hit .221. Seems to me, it’d be better to stagger the bats rather than bunch them up and risk the reigning NL Cy Young winner getting in a groove. But what I do I know?

  • D’Accardo42

    Boy, Whine really seems like a nice guy, and is a hard worker, but him starting over Matty really makes it hard to like the guy. F’n weak!

  • kensai

    The lineup is correct. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have one of the Dodgers’ best hitters in it.

  • bryboiblue

    The Dodgers got to Lincecum late, so I’ll give props to Joe. Too bad the pitching was absolutely horrific. Giving up nine runs to the worst offense in baseball? Horrid.