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NLDS Game 1 lineups: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers

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Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the NLDS between the Diamondbacks and Brewers this afternoon:

1. Willie Bloomquist, SS       1. Corey Hart, RF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B              2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Justin Upton, RF            3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Miguel Montero, C           4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Chris Young, CF             5. Rickie Weeks, 2B
6. Lyle Overbay, 1B            6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
7. Ryan Roberts, 3B            7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
8. Gerardo Parra, LF           8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Ian Kennedy, SP             9. Yovani Gallardo, SP

The major thing of note here is that Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson went with the veteran Lyle Overbay over the rookie Paul Goldschmidt at first base. Left-handed batters have hit Gallardo slightly better than righties this season, but not by much, so perhaps Overbay is getting the nod because of his past experience at Miller Park as a member of the Brewers.

As for the Brewers, Jerry Hairston Jr. will make the start over Casey McGehee at third, something I figured would happen in our series preview earlier this week. McGehee batted just .223/.280/.346 with 13 homers and a .627 OPS this season, including a .132 batting average in September, so it’s not a big shock to see him on the bench. However, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes, chances are we’ll see lineup for Game 2. While not a big sample size, McGehee is 5-for-5 with a double and a homer lifetime against Daniel Hudson.

I’ll be live blogging this game once it gets underway at about 2 p.m. ET, so stay tuned.


Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.