LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Yasiel Puig
CF Andre Ethier
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
SS Nick Punto
SP Clayton Kershaw
Hanley Ramirez has tried to play through a cracked rib, but was in obvious pain and is now out of the Dodgers’ lineup. Nick Punto is starting at shortstop and batting eighth, with Yasiel Puig moving up in the batting order to take Ramirez’s usual cleanup spot.
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
SP Michael Wacha
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made a bunch of changes, including benching lefty-hitting Jon Jay in favor of righty-hitting Shane Robinson in center field. Jay has been awful defensively in this series and Robinson delivered a Game 4 homer, so he gets the nod versus left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Matheny has also shifted lefty bat Matt Adams down in the order, with Yadier Molina cleaning up and David Freese batting fifth.
Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.
The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:
On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”
He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.
A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.
The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.
But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.
The Nationals bullpen is a tire fire. They’re about to add another tire. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Washington is about to sign free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod was released by the Tigers last week after posting an ERA of 7.82 over 28 appearances this season. He has a 1.658 WHIP, is allowing 11.9 hits per nine innings and is posting his highest walk rate in five years. Also worth noting: the Detroit Friggin’ Tigers decided that he was not good enough to be in their bullpen.
So, yeah, good luck with that Washington.