Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the NLDS between the Giants and Reds, in Cincinnati:
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS CINCINNATI REDS
1. Angel Pagan, CF 1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
2. Marco Scutaro, 2B 2. Zack Cozart, SS
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B 3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Buster Posey, C 4. Ryan Ludwick, LF
5. Hunter Pence, RF 5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Brandon Belt, 1B 6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Gregor Blanco, LF 7. Ryan Hanigan, C
8. Brandon Crawford, SS 8. Drew Stubbs, CF
9. Ryan Vogelsong, SP 9. Homer Bailey, SP
Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker are both using the exact same lineups they used in Game 1 and Game 2, so obviously the handedness of the starting pitchers involved doesn’t matter to either manager. Todd Frazier is on the Reds’ bench for the third straight game, as Baker sticks with veteran Scott Rolen at third base instead of the rookie who hit .273 with 19 homers and an .829 OPS in 465 regular season plate appearances.
Homer Bailey was initially scheduled to start Game 4, but that changed when Johnny Cueto exited the series-opener with a back injury and Mat Latos was needed in relief. Bailey tossed a no-hitter two weeks ago and finished the season with 13 straight shutout innings. And with their season on the line the Giants will turn to Ryan Vogelsong, who struggled for most of August and September before stringing together a few solid outings to finish the season.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.