The Dodgers went back to their usual lineup against left-handers this postseason, with Kiké Hernández and A.J. Pollock starting against Rays southpaw Ryan Yarbrough in Game 4 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
But the biggest news came a little later Saturday, when Cody Bellinger was moved from center field to designated hitter because of back tightness.
Cody Bellinger was moved to DH because his back tightened up overnight. He has no problem swinging — he took swings at 100% in the cage today — but fielding was a problem. He’s considered day to day.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 24, 2020
Dave Roberts: "I think it's day-to-day. If the floor is he can DH, that's good. If tomorrow it loosens up, then he'll be back in center field."#Dodgers have played on this turf for 3 weeks, not as bad as old turf. But it's not real grass. Also cooler weather. Both are factors— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 24, 2020
Hernández is 3-for-9 with a walk and two home runs against lefties this postseason, including a game-tying shot off A.J. Minter in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS. He’s one of the Dodgers who have produced quite well against left-handed pitchers this postseason.
It’s been a rough go for Pollock against lefties in the postseason, just 1-for-12 (.083) with a walk. During the regular season, Pollock hit seven of his 16 home runs against lefties, hitting .345/.367/.818.
World Series Game 4 lineups
Overall, Pollock has struggled all postseason, 8-for-37 (.216/.256/.243) with one extra-base hit, a double that came in Game 1 of the wild card series against the Brewers. After starting the first seven games of the postseason for the Dodgers, Pollock will have now started just five of the last nine games.
Pollock was originally listed as the Dodgers’ DH in Game 4, but will instead play center field with Bellinger dealing with back tightness.
Mookie Betts has four stolen bases in four tries in this series, tying Davey Lopes (1981) for the most by a Dodger in a single World Series. He’s just 2-for-13 (.154) with a pair of doubles and a walk against Yarbrough in his career, but did steal two bases against the left-hander in 2018.
The Rays switched things up a bit, with right-handers Yandy Diaz and Hunter Renfroe in the lineup against the left-handed Julio Urías, as they did in Game 1 against Clayton Kershaw. But Tampa Bay also inserted Mike Brosseau at third base, another right-handed bat, at the expense of the left-handed Joey Wendle. In addition, Brandon Lowe was moved down from second to fifth in the batting order.
Manuel Margot is batting cleanup in the World Series for the Rays, an homage to his .286/.352/.612 line this postseason, his five home runs in 11 games four more than he hit in 47 games during the regular season.
Margot is 1-for-4 against Urías, with the hit — a double — coming in 2016. Renfroe, who also faced Urías while with the Padres, is 1-for-4 with a walk, the single coming in 2018.