New manager means sweeping changes, right?
Ryne Sandberg’s first lineup looks the exact same as Charlie Manuel’s last. Jimmy Rollins is up top, Michael Young bats second, and everyone else falls in line. John Mayberry is in center and Carlos Ruiz is behind the plate.
Sandberg’s first game should be a dandy. Cliff Lee (10-5, 3.18) takes on Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.21) in a matchup of two pitchers going in very different directions.
Lee has a 5.63 ERA over his last five starts with a .312 opponents’ average and eight homers allowed in 30 1/3 innings.
Greinke has a 1.66 ERA over his last seven starts with a .207 opponents’ average and three homers allowed in 48 2/3 innings. Only one team (Cincinnati) scored on Greinke more than twice over that span.
The Phillies have faced Greinke only twice since 2007. They scored four runs on 12 hits against him in a loss on June 27 at Dodger Stadium, and were stifled by him last summer, scoring just a run on three hits.
Young is the only Phillie with 15-plus at-bats against Greinke. He’s gone 9 for 36 (.250) with eight punchouts.
Chase Utley (3 for 7, double, homer) and Kevin Frandsen (3 for 5, walk) have had success against the right-hander in a minute sample.
Hanley Ramirez is back in the Dodgers’ lineup. A shoulder injury limited him to one game between Aug. 4-14.
Ramirez and rookie phenom Yasiel Puig have made as much a difference for the Dodgers as Mike Trout did for the Angels in 2012. The Dodgers started 29-40, but are 41-10 since.
Ramirez is hitting .360 with a 1.049 OPS and Puig is at .368 with a 1.013 OPS. Among NL players with at least 210 plate appearances, they rank first and second in batting average and slugging percentage.
The contributions from the rightfielder and shortstop have made up for the loss of Matt Kemp, who has missed 58 games with various injuries and been mostly ineffective when healthy.
1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) Michael Young, 1B
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Domonic Brown, LF
5) Darin Ruf, RF
6) Cody Asche, 3B
7) John Mayberry, CF
8) Carlos Ruiz, C
9) Cliff Lee, P
1) Carl Crawford, LF
2) Yasiel Puig, CF
3) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4) Hanley Ramirez, SS
5) Scott Van Slyke, RF
6) Juan Uribe, 3B
7) A.J. Ellis, C
8) Mark Ellis, 2B
9) Zack Greinke, P