Why Max Muncy Didn’t Pinch-Hit For Chris Taylor In Dodgers’ Loss To Giants

Max Muncy had a career-high seven RBI in the series opener against the San Francisco Giants, but he was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Tuesday. Chris Taylor instead started at third base due to a pre-planned night off for Muncy.

Taylor went into the regular season expecting to fill in at third base and shortstop, while occasionally playing the outfield as well. However, he more recently had been needed up the middle due to Miguel Rojas missing five games because of left groin tightness.

Taylor went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and left five runners on base in the Dodgers’ 5-0 loss. One particularly costly at-bat was his strikeout with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

Following the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he gave consideration to utilizing Muncy as a pinch-hitter at that point but ultimately preferred the matchup between Taylor and Giants relief pitcher Jakob Junis, via SportsNet LA:

“That guy right there, I just felt Chris in the sixth inning had a good chance. I thought about it. He’s a curveball guy and obviously I had Muncy on the bench, but I just felt Chris could move the ball forward. I thought about it, but didn’t pull the trigger.”

Scott Alexander was warming up during the fateful sixth inning and he presumably would have been called on if Muncy pinch-hit for Taylor. Alexander came on after Taylor’s at-bat and retired James Outman and Rojas to end the inning.

Muncy is 1-for-2 with a strikeout in his career against Alexander. He later appeared as a pinch-hitter to lead off the eighth inning and struck out.

Meanwhile, Taylor had started to show signs of getting his swing in order, but now has gone hitless with seven strikeouts over the past three games.

Dodgers sticking with Chris Taylor

The Dodgers have long valued Taylor’s defensive versatility and maintained confidence he would find a rhythm at the plate. With multiple left-handed starting pitchers on the horizon, Taylor is expected to remain in the Dodgers lineup for the time being.

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