Adrian Beltre went 2-for-3 with a double against Dan Haren last night, continuing his career-long dominance over one of the best starters in baseball.
Beltre has now faced Haren in a total of 56 plate appearances and he’s batted .460 with 10 extra-base hits and six walks for a ridiculous 1.278 OPS.
What makes that ownage especially remarkable is that Haren is a right-handed pitcher who usually shuts down right-handed hitters and Beltre is a right-handed hitter who typically fares much worse versus righties than lefties.
Haren has held all right-handed hitters not named Beltre to a .256 batting average and .699 OPS for his career, while Beltre has hit .269 with a .776 OPS versus all right-handed pitchers not named Haren. Yet put them together and … boom!
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.