Below are the starting lineups for Game 6 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Brewers, set to get underway at 8:05 p.m. ET in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The roof will be closed and the crowd will be rocking at Miller Park:
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS MILWAUKEE BREWERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS 1. Corey Hart, RF
2. Jon Jay, CF 2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Albert Pujols, 1B 3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Lance Berkman, RF 4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Matt Holliday, LF 5. Rickie Weeks, 2B
6. David Freese, 3B 6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
7. Yadier Molina, C 7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
8. Nick Punto, 2B 8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Edwin Jackson, RHP 9. Shaun Marcum, RHP
The Cardinals are featuring the same batting order that netted them a 7-1 victory Friday in Game 5. Punto, a better defensive option than Ryan Theriot, remains at second base.
“Tony Plush” is back in the Brewers’ starting lineup for Game 6 after sitting out Game 5 in St. Louis against left-hander Jaime Garcia. He’s just 5-for-26 (.192/.300/.269) since the start of the postseason.
There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.
Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:
The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.
When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.
Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?
Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.
The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.