The Mookie debate about where he should play in Dodger stadium is so obviously over. But that means someone else in the outfield has to sit. It’s a grudge match between Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi. Let’s get ready to rumble!
By The Stats
I’m not going to flood you with statistics. Suffice to say, JBJ was close to 20% better than Benny in September against left handed pitching. That’s important, because the bulk of the best pitching on the Dodgers is left handed.
In the playoffs against all pitching, JBJ is a full 50% better than Benny. I’ve made light of Jackie’s three swings bringing him the MVP of the ALCS, but they were pretty big swings. Remember Papi in 2013 off Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit?
Papi only hit .248 in that ALCS. But that one swing in game 2 changed everything.
Now from Jackie we have this in the 2018 ALCS:
Sure, Jackie hit just .200, but that was no slap hitter .200. That was a Herculean .200. Can you remember any Benintendi at bats like that in the past month? Much fewer and farther between than from JBJ.
Almost Clear Cut
The fact remains these are small sample sizes we’re talking about. Jackie’s streaky hitting is legendary around here. How many times have we seen him hot as a pistol for a few weeks, only to fall back to mediocrity? Benny is steadier metronome of productivity.
It might come down to how these two perform in the first two games of the World Series against The Dodgers dual lefties of Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Cora’s lineups might even give us a clue in these two games. If Benny or JBJ sits it will be a telltale of what’s to come.
Let’s Go Boys!
Meantime let’s treat The Dodgers like the Boltons treated the Kingslayer and sever their best weapon tonight. If the Sox can conquer Kershaw in Game One it will shatter their confidence and lay a clear path to another World Series Title.