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Dodgers try juggling their lineup a bit

September 13, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Andre Ethier is batting second for the Dodgers against St. Louis tonight.
Andre Ethier is batting second for the Dodgers against St. Louis tonight. (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

Struggle to hit, and then struggle some more, you do what you can. A manager can’t just say please.

He can try some more hit-and-run, or base stealing or bunting, though those options are somewhat limited by the power four in the middle of the order.

Or he can shake up the lineup.

Which is what Manager Don Mattingly did, sort of, prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Cardinals.

That’s not to say he moved his current hottest hitter, Luis Cruz, up in the order, but he did move Andre Ethier to the second spot and dropped Shane Victorino to sixth.

When a team’s had just two hits with runners in scoring position in its last 30 at-bats and averaged 1.4 runs and 5.6 hits over the past five games, it's not like any move can really backfire.

Mattingly said he was simply trying to get Ethier a few more at-bats against right-handed Lance Lynn.

“He’s really been good with the righties,” Mattingly said. “I’ll probably flip it back with the lefty. But Dre is swinging the bat good against the righties. Shane struggles more from the left side. It changes it up a little bit.”

Ethier is hitting .330 against right-handers this season, and .223 against left-handers. Victorino, a natural right-hander who switch hits, is batting .238 against right-handed pitching and .306 against left-handers.

“Kind of a matchup a little bit, just putting guys in the right position,” Mattingly said.

If it seems as if he had to try something, well there’s that too. It may not be desperation time yet, but the Dodgers can feel it from here.

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