Once the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets was set, plenty of attention was placed on the expected on the club’s respective pitching rotations. However, Chase Utley’s hard slide in Game 2 of the NLDS quickly took center stage.
Utley was suspended two games by Major League Baseball on Sunday evening, but was in uniform and available for Game 3 by way of filing an appeal. While some may have expected the Mets to retaliate for Ruben Tejada’s injury, which Matt Harvey initially suggested would be the case, Monday’s game was played without incident.
According to Joe Trezza of MLB.com, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes said the club decided during batting practice they wouldn’t seek revenge:
— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) October 13, 2015
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s decision to not include Utley in the lineup was somewhat of a curious one when considering the veteran infielder’s success against Matt Harvey — the Mets’ Game 3 starter.
Albeit in a small sample size (21 plate appearances), Utley is a career .333/.429/.556 batter when facing Harvey. Howie Kendrick, who started at second base and again hit leadoff, went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, one strikeout and one run scored.
Although the Mets didn’t throw at any Dodgers or push the envelope on any slides into second base, they nonetheless did damage at the plate, scoring 13 runs on 13 hits to take a 2-1 series lead.
Mattingly said after the Game 3 loss Utley was available to pinch-hit in the correct situation. Utley isn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup for Game 4.