CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Pierre starts in center field for Dodgers

Pierre starts in center field for Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Juan Pierre replaced center fielder Matt Kemp in the Dodgers lineup for Monday's Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Phillies.

complete postseason coverage

Manager Joe Torre sat down Kemp, who had two singles in Monday night's Game 3 victory, but also struck out twice. Kemp is 5-for-24 (.208) with one RBI and nine strikeouts in the postseason and 3-for-11 (.273) with four strikeouts in the current series.

More

"I just thought Matty was fighting himself and decided to take him out for one game," said Torre. "I've done it during the season. It's not foreign at all, from what we've done."

Kemp is 2-for-8 lifetime against Joe Blanton, Philadelphia's starting pitcher. Pierre has never faced him. Torre said he was likely to return Kemp to the lineup for Game 5 on Wednesday against left-hander Cole Hamels.

"I'm not mad. I want to play, but he's doing what he feels is best," Kemp said of Torre's decision. "I know I'm not playing the way I normally play. It's hard to explain why. I know I can't be missing the pitches I'm getting to hit. They've given me a lot and I'm not doing anything with them."

Torre had Pierre batting eighth and juggled quite a few other spots in the order, moving Blake DeWitt to sixth ahead of Casey Blake, who is 1-for-21 lifetime against Blanton. The only Dodger with a history of success against Blanton is, to no surprise, Manny Ramirez, who is 14-for-25 with one homer and eight RBIs.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less