Game 1 impressions from around nation

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phillies_091028.jpgIn the wake of an impressive showing by the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series, let’s take a stroll around the nation and see what’s going on …

In New York, they were actually eating cheesesteaks. And no, that’s not some kind of euphemism for what Cliff Lee did to the Yankees.

Speaking of Lee, they’re worshipping him in Philadelphia with a video tribute, and rightly so.

How impressive was he? He did something that hadn’t been done since the FIRST World Series game.

In Cleveland, they tried not to pay attention. And they’re still mad about LeBron wearing that Yankee hat.

On the radio, Suzyn Waldman made some history as the first woman to broadcast a World Series game.

In Milwaukee, they were handing out awards to guys like Manny Parra (A for occasional effort).

In Atlanta, they’re jacked up about the idea of keeping Tim Hudson out of free agency.

In Los Angeles, they’re amassing lawyers (and body guards) along the border, preparing for war. And probably trying to decide if they’re happy about another year of Manny.

And finally, in Boston, they’re gloating, and wondering if Pedro Martinez can make it 2-0.

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NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.