Hope for a Randy Johnson loss today

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Last night’s rainout pushed Randy Johnson’s first attempt at win number
300 to this afternoon. If history is any guide, however, we shouldn’t hold our breath for history to be made today:

Crossing that bridge from 299 wins to 300 has not been easy for the
pitchers who have reached the milestone most recently. The last six –
Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Tom
Glavine – all needed between two and five starts to get 300. Clemens
and Ryan were hammered for eight and seven runs, respectively, in their
first tries.

Tom Seaver was the last to win 299 and 300 in consecutive starts
when, pitching for the White Sox in 1985, he won at Boston on July 30
then defeated the Yankees in New York on Aug. 4. Only four of the 11
300-game winners in the last 50 years have achieved it in one try.

I’m hoping for history to hold. Not because I hate Randy Johnson or
love the Nats or anything, but because, if he doesn’t get it tonight,
his next start looks to be either next Tuesday or Wednesday in Arizona,
where the Big Unit happens to have some history. As I mentioned in the
previous post, history matters to me, so I’d much rather see it being
made in front of a full house of people with fond memories of Randy
Johnson rather than some sparsely attended front end of a doubleheader
in D.C.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.