LOS ANGELES — After facing left-handed pitchers in each of the first two games, a pair of right-handers take the mound for Game 3 of the NLCS in Walker Buehler and Jhoulys Chacin. As a result, the lineups for the Dodgers and Brewers have changed a bit.
NLCS Game 3 lineups
|RF||Yelich (L)||1B||Muncy (L)|
The right-handed version of the lineup is similar to what the Dodgers have used in the last couple months, except that Max Muncy and Justin Turner were swapped near the top. Turner slides into the third spot in the order, moving Muncy up behind Joc Pederson.
Speaking of Pederson, the Dodger left fielder became a dad last night.
It’s the first start of the NLCS for Muncy after a steady dose of left-handers forced the Dodgers to go with David Freese at first base. Could the change in the order possibly be related to Josh Hader coming out of the bullpen for multiple innings like he did in Game 1?
“Might be, possibly,” Roberts smirked as he was asked the question. “Having Joc at the top of the order where you could potentially hit with any number of guys on the bench and still liking (Muncy) to take an at-bat.”
“And a couple of right-handers behind him feels that you don’t give up a whole lot, change a whole lot, but you kind of can count on a potential move by them.”
Having the right-handed batters stacked in the middle will make for a greater challenge for Hader, who locked up lefties to the tune of a .355 OPS during the regular season. It’s never a sure thing with the Brewers interesting strategy of when to unleash Hader.
It’s a power move that manager Craig Counsell has in his back pocket, but not on back-to-back days. If the lefty comes in for multiple innings in Game 3 and the Brewers lose, it puts Milwaukee in a really tough spot of Hader not being available again until Game 5. The Dodgers were 90 feet away from ruining the plan in Game 1.
It’s unusually windy at Dodger Stadium Monday and it could play a role in how the ball carries.
“Yeah, I woke up this morning and you kind of feel the warm air and the wind,” said Roberts. “I don’t know how it’s going to affect the ball flight. I’m looking forward to seeing, when we get out there and take some swings, but I expect the ball to be flying a little bit today.”