Dodgers: Curtis Granderson and Chase Utley Hurting the Club on the Field

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Chase Utley /

The Jumbo Chili Cheese Dog at Portillo’s? Salty. A deep dish sausage pie from Lou Malnati’s? Saltier. This NLCS article recently out of the Chicago Tribune? Saltiest.

Even after winning game 4 of the NLCS, the mood in Chicago is still packed with sodium. Just ask Joe Maddon, whose mid/late game tirade is becoming as much of a tradition as the 7th inning stretch or Puig’s fervent tongue wagging. Rightfully so on Maddon’s part might I add. Conversely, the Dodgers still have plenty to be pleased about.

The sound the ball makes off Puig’s bat nowadays is loud enough to shatter a window. Darvish looks more like Drysdale every time out so far in October. Turner has been putting on an Oscar-worthy imitation of Kirk Gibson and then some. The powerful Cody Bellinger has shown signs of waking from his slumber.  The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw starting tonight with a chance to close it out and reach their first World Series in almost three decades. Corey Seager hasn’t even been playing.

All these rainbows and an abundance of unicorn flatulence may go by the wayside quick if the Dodgers don’t win five more games. As easy of a journey as it may have seemed thus far, the final stage is always the most daunting. The team has been and must continue to be willing to do whatever it takes to win. That could include sitting Chase Utley and Curtis Granderson.

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The Silver Fox hasn’t recorded a Postseason hit since the NLDS against the Nationals last year. Being that time has eroded much of his range defensively, that’s bad news. Especially when Logan Forsythe’s offensive renaissance in October.

His leadership and clubhouse presence remain invaluable. However, he was brought here to bring about the occasional big postseason hit. If he’s no longer capable of providing that, his on-field value drops close to nil.

I’m not calling for Utley’s head. However, he should be spending most of his time in the World Series on the bench as an occasional pinch hitter. Forsythe should start every game. Andre Ethier has proven more viable as a left-handed bat off the bench since returning to the club. Heck, he could have even stolen Curtis Granderson’s starting job against righties with his throwback performance in game 3 of the NLCS.

Speaking of Granderson, he’s just been flat out terrible since he joined LA. He hit .161 after being traded to LA and has only one hit in 15 at-bats this postseason. His occasional homer does not offset the plethora of strikeouts. As it’s been noted, he managed to strike out five times in four at-bats last night. That’s hard to do.

Next: Game 4 Notes and Game 5 Preview

Granderson and Utley are both wonderful people and have had spectacular careers. However, they appear to be hurting LA more than helping on the field. LA figures to see much less of these two the rest of the series as they figure to face two lefties, Quintana and perhaps Lester again in this series. However, when the Dodgers face a righty, I expect Andre Ethier, Logan Forsythe, and Joc Pederson to get the lion’s share of the opportunities moving forward.