Dodgers begin resting starters

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
4:22
PM PT
DENVER – Tuesday might be remembered as the day the Dodgers eased their foot off the gas pedal.

Yasiel Puig told the Dodgers he could play Tuesday, one day after tweaking a sore right knee, but he was held out of the lineup anyway for caution’s sake and might also miss Wednesday’s game. Hanley Ramirez got the day off, too, as did A.J. Ellis and Juan Uribe.

Wednesday, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and perhaps Adrian Gonzalez will get days off, manager Don Mattingly indicated. Edinson Volquez will make a spot start (despite an 8.39 career ERA at Coors Field) to give the team’s pitchers extra rest.

It’s not that the Dodgers aren’t interested in catching the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It’s just that they view getting their players rested and healthy for the postseason as the bigger imperative.

The fact that they’re able to begin the process nearly a month from the start of the playoffs could be a huge edge. The Dodgers went into Tuesday’s game with a 12 game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks, their magic number to clinch the West just 14 games.

“If there was a game separating us or we were a game back, I think we’d do it differently, but you have to use common sense,” Mattingly said. “But still, when I write that lineup today, I expect to win.”

Here are the rest of the lineups for Tuesday’s game vs. the Colorado Rockies:

Los Angeles

1. Carl Crawford LF
2. Nick Punto SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Michael Young 3B
5. Andre Ethier CF
6. Mark Ellis 2B
7. Skip Schumaker RF
8. Tim Federowicz C
9. Ricky Nolasco RHP

Rockies

1. Dexter Fowler CF
2. DJ LeMahieu 2B
3. Troy Tulowitzki SS
4. Michael Cuddyer RF
5. Wilin Rosario C
6. Todd Helton 1B
7. Nolan Arenado 3B
8. Charlie Blackmon LF
9. Jhoulys Chacin RHP

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
15 1.82 184 153
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .309
HRA. Gonzalez 17
RBIA. Gonzalez 83
RY. Puig 69
OPSY. Puig .900
ERAC. Kershaw 1.82
SOC. Kershaw 184