Dodgers Reload Righty Lineup to Face Jon Lester in NLCS Game 2

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(Mandatory Credit: Alex Gallardo/AP)

One day after rallying to defeat the Cubs in the opener of the 2017 NLCS, the Dodgers have elected to employ the same lineup they used in Game 1 to face Jon Lester and the Cubs in Game 2.

During the regular season, Lester posted a 13-8 record with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.323 WHIP over 180-2/3 innings pitched. He surrendered a total of 26 home runs in 2017, and tallied a hefty 4.41 ERA on the road. The veteran lefty started two regular season games against the Dodgers this year, having gone 0-1 in 9-1/3 innings of work and giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits, which included two home runs. Lifetime, he is 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts against Los Angeles, and is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts at Dodger Stadium.

Ironically, outfielder Curtis Granderson has given Lester plenty of trouble over the years. Granderson is hitting .294 with three home runs and a .894 OPS in 51 at-bats against Lester.

The Dodgers will counter with Rich Hill, an ex-Cub, who posted a 12-8 record with a 3.32 ERA for the Dodgers in 25 starts this season. He has not faced his former team since throwing a six-inning, two-hit gem in last year’s NLCS.

In his lone appearance against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, Hill did not factor into the decision after throwing an even four innings and surrendering two earned runs on three hits and three walks.

In his final 15 starts of the regular season, Hill went 8-4 with a 2.64 ERA and held batters to a .185 average, striking out 116 batters against just 21 walks. Posting a 0.90 WHIP during that stretch which was second in the bigs, he also ranked second among Major League starters in OPBA.

“You want to challenge yourself against the best, and they’re the defending champions, and that’s the club that we wanted to play and the team that we want to beat to get to the next step, which is the World Series,” Hill told reporters at the onset of the NLCS.

Yasiel Puig, who was one of several key contributors in the opener on Saturday night, has gone an impressive 7-for-15 during the 2017 playoffs, with four extra-base hits and six RBI. His double in the fifth inning on Saturday scored Logan Forsythe, and put the Dodgers back in the game after tying the contest at two runs apiece.

The Cubs have made minimal changes for Game 2, as Jason Heyward is inserted into the seventh hole and will play right field. Kyle Schwarber is out of the lineup, while Jon Jay moves from right to left.

Dodgers Game 2 lineup:

  1. Taylor CF
  2. Turner 3B
  3. Bellinger 1B
  4. Hernandez LF
  5. Forsythe 2B
  6. Barnes C
  7. Puig RF
  8. Culberson SS
  9. Hill P

Cubs Game 2 lineup:

  1. Jay LF
  2. Bryant 3B
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Contreras C
  5. Almora Jr. CF
  6. Russell SS
  7. Heyward RF
  8. Baez 2B
  9. Lester P

First pitch is slated for 4:38 p.m. Los Angeles time.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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