LOS ANGELES -- Two decisions in D-backs manager Torey Lovullo's Game 1 lineup likely raised some eyebrows among Arizona fans.• NLDS Game 2: Tonight, 9 ET/6 MST on TBSLovullo elected to go with Jeff Mathis over Chris Iannetta behind the plate in Friday's 9-5 loss to the Dodgers in the
LOS ANGELES -- Two decisions in D-backs manager Torey Lovullo's Game 1 lineup likely raised some eyebrows among Arizona fans.
• NLDS Game 2: Tonight, 9 ET/6 MST on TBS
Lovullo elected to go with Jeff Mathis over Chris Iannetta behind the plate in Friday's 9-5 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile, and he also decided to sit third baseman Jake Lamb in favor of Adam Rosales. Mathis hit one of the D-backs' four solo homers off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, while Iannetta didn't play. Lamb pinch-hit in the ninth and reached on an error.
:: NLDS schedule and coverage ::
Lovullo was well aware of Iannetta's superior offensive numbers, but felt like Mathis was the choice against Kershaw, given that Taijuan Walker started for the D-backs.
"I just like the way Jeff matches up with Taijuan," Lovullo said. "[Iannetta] is going to find himself in the middle of a lot of games."
As for Lamb, the left-handed hitter has struggled this year against lefties, hitting just .144 against them and he has never faced the southpaw Kershaw.
So despite having collected four hits Wednesday, Lamb sat Friday.
"I just felt like we've been doing something like that for the course of the year since we got [Rosales]," Lovullo said of sitting Lamb against a lefty. "I felt like I wanted to just stay with the script. I didn't want to switch things up too much. The hard part of it was Jake had four hits in the Wild Card Game. He's locked in."
• Gear up for D-backs' postseason
One of the changes for the NLDS was the addition of right-handed slugger Christian Walker in place of outfielder Rey Fuentes.
Walker was the Most Valuable Player in the Pacific Coast League this year, leading the Minor Leagues with 114 RBIs while smacking 34 doubles and 32 homers.
Walker, who singled as a pinch-hitter in Game 1, was 3-for-9 with a pair of homers off the bench for the D-backs in September. With the Dodgers having left-handed starters Kershaw, Alex Wood and Rich Hill along with late-inning southpaws like Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani pitching in high-leverage situations, having Walker's right-handed bat off the bench could come in handy.
• D-backs lefty Jorge De La Rosa finally made his first postseason appearance in the NL Wild Card Game. Before pitching one-third of an inning in an 11-8 victory over the Rockies (his former team), De La Rosa had the longest streak of an active pitcher without appearing in the postseason.
In a lefty-on-lefty situation, Rockies leadoff man Charlie Blackmon bunted past De La Rosa to drive in a run, but second baseman Daniel Descalso made a deft play to retire Blackmon at first base.
De La Rosa admitted to taking a second to appreciate the moment.
"It was something I was looking for, for a long time -- thank God that was the first game for me," De La Rosa said. "But I'm really proud of my team."
De La Rosa, not known for his fielding, said the bunt came as a surprise at the time, but he knew why it happened.
"He knows I don't like bunts; it was a good play," De La Rosa said.
• A key to putting the D-backs in the NLDS was a third-inning, two-run homer by Descalso off lefty Tyler Anderson. Descalso had never faced Anderson, but Descalso is no neophyte in postseason play as Wednesday was his 45th postseason contest. He appeared in four straight postseasons for the Cardinals (2011-14) and saw possibilities this year for the D-backs when he signed with them during the offseason.
"Obviously, the record they had last year was not where they would like it to be," Descalso said. "But just from playing with these guys the last couple of years and looking at the names on paper, I kind of knew that the record was not indicative. So I signed and was excited to see where I could be mixed in."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Thomas Harding has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002.**.