Dodgers bring only one lefty reliever to NLCS, despite Cardinal struggles

Dodgers bring only one lefty reliever to NLCS, despite Cardinal struggles

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Dodgers bring only one lefty reliever to NLCS, despite Cardinal struggles

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by JJ Bailey / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 4:59 PM

(BaseballStL) -- The Cardinals, a team that preaches a balanced and repeatable approach at the plate, have one lopsided stat on the report: They hate lefties. 

The Redbirds posted a .672 OPS against lefties, trailing only Miami and the New York Mets in the NL. In average, the Marlins and the Chicago Cubs beat out the Cardinals, though the Redbirds still posted a .238 against southpaws. 

Why then, did the Los Angeles Dodgers come into the NLCS with just one lefty reliever in the pen? Manager Don Mattingly said before Game 1 it was a concern, but there were other matchup factors at play.

"Well, obviously, a little bit.  But, again, the consideration for the roster where a lot of things obviously are going to be generated by numbers and who hits who, and how somebody has been pitching," he said.

J.P. Howell will be the only lefty in the pen for the Dodgers. Howell has faced the Cardinals twice this season, allowing no hits, walking one and striking out three in three innings pitched.

Lefties Paco Rodriguez and Chris Capuano were left off the roster for the NLCS, and Mattingly said in the former's case, it was a matter of performance. 

"Again, really tough decision for a guy that's really helped get you and get us to this point.  But for the people who have been following us over the last five, six weeks, it's really been two different guys," he said. "The guy up until that point and the guy from that point has gotten to be a little different."

Barring an injury, the Dodgers will not be able to alter their roster unless the make the World Series. 

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JJ Bailey covers the Cardinals for KMOV.com and the BaseballStL app. Follow him on twitter @TheJJBailey and on @baseballstl_app for updates.  

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