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.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!