Worried that Nyjer Morgan might “get hit” because of his unnecessary shove of Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on Saturday night, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has opted to keep the outfielder out of the lineup Sunday.
Riggleman stood up for his outfielder in a chat with Gene Wang of the Washington Post on Sunday, but did acknowledged that Morgan made a mistake:
“I think he was just having a day like where he was upset about some
things and did an unprofessional thing. He went after the catcher,”
Riggleman said. “So I certainly don’t condone that, but we’ve all made
mistakes. I think that’s not Nyjer’s style of play to do something like
that. That’s totally uncharacteristic. I think the culmination of the
day, when I called him in, told him I was going to hit him eighth
instead of leadoff, and I think it just was building up all day. I think
he thought I was wearing that equipment there at home plate.”
Riggleman said he spoke with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa about the matter, but it seems possible that Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright might direct his anger toward another member of the Nationals lineup today.
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.
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.