Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS between the Cardinals and Nationals, in Washington:
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS WASHINGTON NATIONALS
1. Jon Jay, CF 1. Jayson Werth, RF
2. Carlos Beltran, RF 2. Bryce Harper, CF
3. Matt Holliday, LF 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Allen Craig, 1B 4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
5. Yadier Molina, C 5. Michael Morse, LF
6. David Freese, 3B 6. Ian Desmond, SS
7. Daniel Descalso, 2B 7. Danny Espinosa, 2B
8. Pete Kozma, SS 8. Kurt Suzuki, C
9. Kyle Lohse, RHP 9. Ross Detwiler, LHP
Mike Matheny has gone with the same starters versus righties and lefties this series, which means Nationals southpaw Ross Detwiler will face a lineup that includes only two lefty bats in leadoff man Jon Jay and seventh hitter Daniel Descalso. Detwiler was far worse against righties (.263 AVG, .734 OPS) than lefties (.170 AVG, .513 OPS) this season, so it’s a pretty tough matchup for him on paper.
Davey Johnson is sticking with his standard lineup, which has scored 3, 4, and 0 runs in the first three games of the series. During the regular season Washington had the third-best OPS in the league against right-handed pitching, including scoring 12 runs in 12 innings versus Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, but through three playoff games the Nationals have hit just .234 with a .610 OPS off righties.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.