Here’s the Phillies’ lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Giants and left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, RF
6. Shane Victorino, CF
7. Raul Ibanez, LF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Roy Oswalt, P
The big change here is that Jimmy Rollins is back in the leadoff spot for the first time since Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds. Rollins stole two bases in Thursday’s win in Game 5, so it looks like his hamstring is finally feeling close to 100 percent. Shane Victorino gets bumped down to sixth in the order.
Charlie Manuel also sticks with Raul Ibanez against the lefty Sanchez, despite using Ben Francisco against southpaw Madison Bumgarner in left field in Game 4. Ibanez had his first two hits of the series in Game 5 and is batting just .185 (5-for-27) during the postseason.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.