Despite being eligible to play while his suspension is being appealed and having strong numbers against the opposing pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers infielderChase Utley is not in the starting lineup for Monday's Game 3 against the New York Mets.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly tabbed Howie Kendrick to begin the game at second base over Utley. Kendrick will also be the leadoff batter.
"Howie's been swinging the bat good, and we feel like he gives us the best chance to win today," Mattingly said.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he had expected Utley to be in the Dodgers lineup.
"I'm a little surprised. But Donnie knows his team better than I," Collins said, "but I got the same stats he's got and I know he swings the bat pretty good against Matt Harvey. He has a knack of beating us, so let him sit over on the bench for eight innings."
Against Harvey, Utley has hit a career .333 (6-for-18); Kendrick is batting .167 (1-for-6) against him.
Collins said he addressed Utley possibly being in the lineup with Harvey and told him, "Play baseball." Collins said the Mets can't waste time thinking about retaliation.
Kendrick was 3-for-8 in the first two games of the series, while Utley went 1-for-2 in a pair of appearances as a pinch hitter.