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Open Thread: Game 14 - vs. Chicago Cubs

After a little mean-reversion whiplash this weekend, and a 2-1 series loss to the Giants, the boys in blue take on the other boys in blue.

Nothing that has happened so far this year--not even a couple of nice defensive plays by Loney--has dissuaded me from the belief that Ned Colletti damaged the Dodgers' chances this year by dumping Hee-Seop Choi. I find it hard to believe that Choi would have an OPS below .492 at this point. And if he did, it would be a deviation from his proven level of performance. For Loney, it is his proven level of performance, though "proven" by a tiny sample size, I know. I think Loney can be better, but he's 21 years old and still has yet to play in Las Vegas. We might as well let him go there and put Oscar Robles at second base (moving Kent to first). At some point, I think it will get demoralizing for him on the big league club. Again, I'm not saying Loney isn't the 1B of the future. It's the present that concerns me. (Apparently it concerns Grady Little as well: Olmedo Saenz is starting against Maddux tonight. And where did Robles come from? I guess great(?) minds think alike.)

Of course, Kent might (scratch that, will) not be playing anywhere tonight. The ball he took off of his dome last night was enough to give him a concussion, according to the LA Times. This is the injury I really didn't want to consider: the post-extension loss of half of our home run threats. That would leave Drew as the only healthy power hitter on the club. Unless Cruz is back in 30 HR territory (2000, 2001) again. And, speaking of Cruz, I wonder how he feels about being asked to bunt with 2 on, 1 out and a 2-0 Giants lead last night. I'm sure he was thinking something like "I suck so bad there's no way I could give us the lead with a home run. That .858 OPS I'll be sporting in the morning is a total fluke. Everyone's gonna find out I'm a fraud. Oh, look, the coach is calling for a bunt. Sweet, my secret is safe for another day!" Or something like that. And that's tonight's three hitter.

UPDATE: Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts has reported that Robles has taken the space of Cody Ross on the roster. He also suggests that Aybar might have been a better choice for second base.

The Pitching Matchup:

Greg Maddux (RHP, Cubs) vs. Brett Tomko (RHP, Dodgers)

For the Chicago Cubs:

Pierre, CF
Walker, 2B
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Barett, C
Jones, RF
Murton, LF
Cedeno, SS
Maddux, P

For your Los Angeles Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Lofton, CF
Cruz, LF
Drew, RF
Saenz, 1B
Mueller, 3B
Robles, 2B
Navarro, C
Tomko, P