It remains to be seen if this version of the lineup sticks, but the Dodgers on Saturday had Mookie Betts and Corey Seager at the top of the batting order for the first time in over four months, revisiting a successful formula they rode to a championship last year.
Every postseason game last October featured Betts hitting first and Seager second, and it proved to be a winning combination. The Dodgers averaged 6.28 runs per game with those two at the top last season, and won over three quarters of their games.
This year, fielding the complete planned lineup has proved elusive, but batting orders beginning with the Betts-Seager combo averaged 5.5 runs per game. Yesterday was the 30th such game in 2021.
Saturday marked the first such pairing since May 15, when Seager broke his hand. Since returning from the injured list, Seager has batted mostly fourth and fifth, including batting cleanup on Friday, when he had two hits.
The dynamic duo at the top combined for just one hit in 10 at-bats on Saturday, with Betts providing an RBI single in the ninth inning. Even with the collar in the middle game of the series, Seager is hitting .321/.413/.472 in September.
The resulting change moved Max Muncy to cleanup, where he started all 18 postseason games in 2020.
“The way Corey’s been taking at-bats, taking walks, and getting hits, just to put him behind Mookie, I think it’ll be the right thing,” manager Dave Roberts said before Saturday’s game. “I think Max will get on track, and it’s sort of interchangeable. But I want the on-base.”
Links & notes
- It’s been a long and painful season for Cody Bellinger, with a non-displaced rib fracture his latest setback. Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register has more.
- “I didn’t try to take anybody inside the clubhouse because I didn’t get there myself,” said Dodgers broadcaster Tim Neverett, about his book about the 2020 season, ‘COVID Curveball’, to Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
- 32-year-old infielder Drew Maggi, who played in the Dodgers system for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa in 2016-17, was called up to the majors for the first time on Saturday, as a member of the Twins. Do-Hyoung Park at MLB.com has more on Maggi, who logged over 1,000 minor league games and 4,000 plate appearances before making it to the big leagues.
- A group of Mets and Phillies minor leaguers earning under $12,000 per year wore wristbands to protest insufficient pay, coordinated with Advocates for Minor Leaguers. Jake Seiner at the Associated Press has more.
- In addition to minor league players protesting, Advocates for Minor Leaguers coordinated a fan appreciation day throughout the minors on Saturday, including in Rancho Cucamonga. “By any measure, this has been a season of progress for Minor League players,” executive director Harry Marino said in a statement. “As a result of public pressure, a number of teams changed their housing, extended spring training, and meal policies mid-season. Other teams are actively considering changes for next season. We greatly appreciate every player and fan who took action over the last few months—your work has made a real difference.”