Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the ALDS between the Orioles and Yankees, in Baltimore:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Nate McLouth, LF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. J.J. Hardy, SS 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Chris Davis, RF 3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Adam Jones, CF 4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Matt Wieters, C 5. Nick Swisher, RF
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B 6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. Jim Thome, DH 7. Russell Martin, C
8. Manny Machado, 3B 8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Robert Andino, 2B 9. Eduardo Nunez, DH
SP Wei-Yin Chen, LHP SP Andy Pettitte, LHP
Despite the Yankees throwing back-to-back left-handers manager Buck Showalter is using a different lineup against Andy Pettitte than he had against CC Sabathia. Lew Ford is benched, with Jim Thome replacing him at designated hitter. Left-handed-hitting Chris Davis slides up from seventh to third, moving everyone else down. Pettitte held lefties a .202 batting average and .516 OPS, compared to .245 and .681 from righties, so on paper at least Showalter’s changes look … well, let’s say interesting.
Meanwhile, the Yankees are facing left-hander Wei-Yin Chen instead of right-hander Jason Hammel, so manager Joe Girardi flipped Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin in the 7-8 spots and benched Raul Ibanez in favor of Eduardo Nunez. Nunez as a starting designated hitter in a playoff game is pretty weird considering his .384 career slugging percentage, although he’s been slightly better versus lefties.
Earlier, Craig wrote about the negative reaction within the Phillies’ clubhouse after outfielder Odubel Herrera A) flipped his bat on a fly out, and B) failing to run out a dropped third strike. Manager Pete Mackanin was one of Herrera’s critics, unsurprisingly, but so was catcher Cameron Rupp.
Via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, Rupp said that the Phillies’ frustration with Herrera is “not a secret.” He said, “Pete is the manager and what he asks us to do, we’re supposed to do. It’s a team thing and one guy can’t just not follow the rules. It’s not the first time. It has happened before and that’s something we don’t want to see. We want him in the game. He’s a good player. It’s hard for us. He’s a grown man. He has to learn on his own. We can only say so much.”
Though Rupp didn’t directly say his criticism of Herrera pertained to bat flips, we can logically deduce it as such. Herrera doesn’t commonly fail to run out dropped third strikes, but he does commonly flip his bat, particularly on non-homers.
Rupp had a good game against the Astros on Wednesday night, blasting a pair of two-run home runs. The problem? Rupp flipped his bat. In a 9-0 game.
The MLB.com video doesn’t really give a chance to see the full extent of Rupp’s flip, so here’s a .gif from Chris Jones:
And just in case anyone feels I’m interpreting the situation through a biased lens, Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice also saw it the same way.
We should probably expect Mackanin to bench Rupp for the next two games like he did Herrera, right? What’s that, you say? Certain players were more likely to be criticized for expressing emotion and perceived lack of hustle? Really makes you think.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Nationals will call up top pitching prospect Erick Fedde to start in place of Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. Strasburg left Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks due to “some nerve impingement.”
Fedde, 24, was the Nationals’ first-round selection (18th overall) in the 2014 draft. The right-hander is the No. 3 prospect in the Nationals’ system, according to MLB Pipeline. Between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, Fedde has a 3.72 ERA with a 69/21 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings.
The Nationals still seem hopeful that Strasburg won’t need a stint on the disabled list. Saturday, of course, will mark five games since his last start which happens to be half of the minimum disabled list stint. The Nationals could always DL him retroactive to Monday. (Update: The Nationals will indeed place Strasburg on the DL, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier.)