Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Brewers-Cardinals series:
MILWAUKEE BREWERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Corey Hart, RF 1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, CF 2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B 4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B 5. Lance Berkman, RF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B 6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS 7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C 8. Nick Punto, 2B
SP Yovani Gallardo, RHP SP Chris Carpenter, RHP
Nyjer Morgan is slumping offensively and struggling defensively, so manager Ron Roenicke has benched him for Game 3 despite facing a right-hander. However, instead of starting Carlos Gomez he’s going with Mark Kotsay, who’s 37 years old and started just nine games in center field during the regular season. Kotsay is 4-for-11 off Carpenter during his career, but 11 at-bats spread over a decade isn’t exactly meaningful.
With ground-baller Chris Carpenter on the mound Tony La Russa is going with his best defensive second baseman, Nick Punto. He’s also sticking with Matt Holliday in the cleanup spot and Lance Berkman batting fifth.
Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.
The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:
On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”
He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.
A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.
The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.
But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.
The Nationals bullpen is a tire fire. They’re about to add another tire. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Washington is about to sign free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod was released by the Tigers last week after posting an ERA of 7.82 over 28 appearances this season. He has a 1.658 WHIP, is allowing 11.9 hits per nine innings and is posting his highest walk rate in five years. Also worth noting: the Detroit Friggin’ Tigers decided that he was not good enough to be in their bullpen.
So, yeah, good luck with that Washington.