SAN FRANCISCO — Adrian Gonzalez‘s bad back, Howie Kendrick‘s strained hamstring, and Justin Turner‘s sore left knee will keep three of the Dodgers’ starting infielders out of the lineup Wednesday, one day after they clinched the National League West title.
Otherwise, the lineup has a fairly normal look. That should be the case for the final five games of the season, manager Don Mattingly said:
The Dodgers’ full lineup against Giants right-hander Mike Leake:
Justin Turner/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers
Third baseman Justin Turner was back in the lineup Thursday after missing the previous four games with a sore left knee. Even so, manager Don Mattingly said he will be cautious with Turner moving forward.
“We’re going to be careful with him,” Mattingly said. “He won’t be in there every day, it’s going to be a day here or a day there. We’ve got it calmed down and he feels better, but it doesn’t mean he’ll be out there every day.”
Corey Seager reached base in his 16th straight start to begin his career, a new Los Angeles Dodgers record. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
Brett Anderson‘s fatal flaw was exposed in an 8-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Chase Utley played third base for the first time in his major league career.
The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.
After the game, third baseman Justin Turner said that an MRI on his left knee revealed a bone bruise and an inflamed tendon. He won’t have to miss much time.
“It’s pretty much the best case we could’ve had,” Turner said. “There’s not really a whole lot medicine-wise to help speed it up. It’s kind of a good-case, bad-case kind of thing.”
Turner said he will treat the tendon with rest and ice. The bone bruise, he said, “isn’t going anywhere.”
Justin Turner‘s sore left knee is serious enough that the Dodgers ordered an MRI exam on the 30-year-old third baseman. Turner will not play today and tomorrow, at least.
That leaves the Dodgers without the “regular” left side of their infield at the moment. Jimmy Rollins is still recovering from a sore right index finger that prevents him from playing the field.
Here’s what manager Don Mattingly said about Turner and Rollins today:
After playing 1,574 games in the major leagues — 1,474 at second base and 32 at first (he was a pinch hitter or designated hitter in the other games) — Chase Utley is starting at third base today for the first time in his career.
“Why not?” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “The fact that (Justin Turner) is down. A righty out there [Jhoulys Chacin is starting for the Arizona Diamondbacks]. We’ve been working toward this. Wally felt like last time was his best time out there. We don’t worry about him — he knows where to play, knows where to be. That type stuff. Seemed like tonight was the right night.”
Turner had an MRI on his sore left knee Monday and is down for a “couple days,” Mattingly said. The Dodgers’ second-best option at the position, Corey Seager, is starting at shortstop. Alex Guerrero, who’s started one game at third base the past six weeks, must wait to start another.
Despite his prowess at second base, Utley’s been taking ground balls at third practically since the moment he joined the Dodgers. The last time Utley played third base in a game, he was a 23-year-old in Triple-A in 2002. His teammates included Nick Punto and P.J. Forbes, who managed the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate last year.
Bench coach Tim Wallach, who won three Gold Glove awards at third base, has been mentoring Utley periodically before games. They did so again today; see for yourself how it went: