Los Angeles, California. The first of two games in LA today between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Western Division champion Dodgers saw lineup changes for both teams. Mookie Betts sat out the first game until he was used as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning. Joey Gallo was moved up to the clean-up slot and Trayce Thompson batted 5th. Also, top prospect Miguel Vargas, La Habana, Cuba, got the start in left field and second round draft pick in 2018, righthand pitcher, Michael Grove was the starter for LA.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, is trying to take advantage of clinching the division last week on the 141st game of the season. Leaving them with 21 games to give players some well deserved rest, get back players from injuries and give a look at some prospects. This Dodgers team became the fastest team to win the division since the franchise moved from Brooklyn.
Managing all of that while still keeping his team rolling at a high clip will be somewhat of a challenge for Roberts. My belief is to not mess with things when they are going good. I can see giving one of your starters a day off once in a while but don’t over do it.
Having so many games with little meaning can sometimes be a a problem. Players get used to a routine and when you brake that it sometimes takes a few games or more to get their timing back. When you get to the playoffs there is no time to get your game back. Roberts will have to keep this steamroller moving yet give his players some rest. Not an easy task.
But Roberts has the luxury of a very, very deep team. Today with starters pulled early along with a not so normal lineup and being down 5-1 in the the 8th inning, Roberts dug into his deep pockets and mastered a 5 run inning to get win number 103. Not an easy task? Not for Roberts.
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