NLCS Game 1 lineups: Cardinals vs. Brewers

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Here are the starting lineups for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Brewers, set to get underway just after 4:00 p.m. ET on TBS:

  ST. LOUIS CARDINALS          MILWAUKEE BREWERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS         1. Corey Hart, RF
2. Jon Jay, CF               2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B         3. Ryan Braun, RF
4. Lance Berkman, RF         4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Matt Holliday, LF         5. Rickie Weeks, 2B
6. Yadier Molina, C          6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. David Freese, 3B          7. Carlos Gomez, CF
8. Ryan Theriot, 2B          8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Jaime Garcia, LHP         9. Zack Greinke, RHP

With Skip Schumaker ruled out for the NLCS due to a strained oblique muscle, the Cardinals are likely to rotate Theriot and Nick Punto at second base. Theriot, the better offensive option, gets the start in Game 1.

The Brewers will be looking for more production out of Weeks, who went 1-for-18 in Milwaukee’s NLDS defeat of the Diamondbacks. He remains in the heart of the lineup. Nyjer Morgan, for all his yapping, will open Game 1 on the bench because he struggles against left-handed pitchers. Gomez gets the start in center field.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.