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Kiké Hernandez takes rare seat vs. LHP

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Dodgers end their regular season facing 4 LHP starters

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time all season, a healthy Kiké Hernandez is not in the starting lineup for the Dodgers against a left-handed pitcher. Though extenuating circumstances may have played a role in the decision, at least for Saturday against the Giants.

San Francisco didn’t announce its Saturday starter, Ty Blach, until after Friday night’s game. Coupled with Christian Friedrich in San Diego on Thursday, then Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore on Friday and Sunday in San Francisco, that makes four consecutive left-handed starters to end the regular season.

Left-handed batters Joc Pederson and Chase Utley start in center field and at second base, respectively on Saturday. It is the eighth start against a left-hander this season for Pederson and the sixth for Utley.

It’s likely the Dodgers didn’t want two of their regulars sitting for four straight games, especially with four more off days before the NLDS starts on Friday. Pederson also started Thursday against Friedrich, and doubled twice.

The rookie Blach, a starter in Triple-A, made two relief appearances of three innings each in September, then lasted three innings in his first major league start last Sunday. It is unknown how long Blach will pitch on Saturday.

Hernandez, who singled and walked on Friday against Bumgarner, started 37 of the Dodgers’ first 44 games against opposing left-handed starting pitchers in 2016, and the only seven games he missed were when he was on the disabled list with left rib cage inflammation in July.

Hernandez is hitting just .192/.286/.329 in 2016, including .193/.314/.370 against left-handers. Believe it or not, Hernandez’s .301 wOBA and 90 wRC+ against lefties this season still ranks seventh among Dodgers with at least 40 plate appearances against southpaws, and two ahead of him — Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson — are out for the season.

In his three years in the majors, Hernandez has hit .273/.366/.485 against lefties with a .366 wOBA and a 136 wRC+ in 262 plate appearances.

The Dodgers as a team this season are hitting .217/.294/.339 against left-handed pitchers, last in the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, wOBA (.279) and wRC+ (75).