ALDS Game 1 lineups: Rays vs. Rangers

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Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the Rays-Rangers series tonight:

   TAMPA BAY RAYS                 TEXAS RANGERS
1. Sean Rodriguez, SS          1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. B.J. Upton, CF              2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Evan Longoria, 3B           3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Ben Zobrist, 2B             4. Michael Young, 1B
5. Johnny Damon, DH            5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Kelly Shoppach, C           6. Mike Napoli, C
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B          7. Nelson Cruz, RF
8. Desmond Jennings, LF        8. Yorvit Torrealba, DH
9. Matt Joyce, RF              9. Craig Gentry, LF

SP Matt Moore, LHP             SP C.J. Wilson, LHP

Pretty standard lineup for the Rangers versus left-handed pitching, with the exception of Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli being in there together. Mike Scioscia’s lack of faith in Napoli defensively led to him leaving the Angels, yet Ron Washington has chosen to use Napoli at catcher and Torrealba at DH. With tons of right-handed power the Rangers’ lineup is an extremely tough first assignment for Rays left-hander Matt Moore.

Tampa Bay’s lineup versus lefty C.J. Wilson is much less standard, as it includes three left-handed hitters in the bottom five spots. Mostly that just means manager Joe Maddon has opted not to platoon Matt Joyce, who hit just .217 off lefties. Wilson has a nearly identical platoon split this season, faring equally well versus righties and lefties, but he was almost unhittable versus lefties in 2010.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.