Yasiel Puig has barely been a warm body since the start of September, but Don Mattingly chose today's potential elimination game to make the change. Puig is out of the lineup, replaced by nonentity Andre Ethier.
"He's healthy," Mattingly said of Puig. "Pretty simple today: We just feel like this gives us the best chance to win today, just the best chance to win today. It's just confidence. I can't tell you that he's not confident or that he's overly confident or anything. So that's a question for him."
Puig is 3-for-12 through three games of the NLDS, with eight strikeouts—seven of them consecutively.
"Obviously I haven't been hitting against St.Louis," Puig said through an interpreter. "It's about winning the game, about putting the guys out there that he thinks can help us win the game."
I guess that's Ethier, who hasn't started regularly since the all-star break and put up by far his worst season as a pro. On the bright side, one of Ethier's four home runs this season came off of game 4 starter Shelby Miller.
So if you needed a subplot for tonight's game, Don Mattingly possibly wagering his job should suffice.