Lineups for Game 1 at Fenway Park …
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
DH Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
SP Adam Wainwright
As expected Allen Craig is in the lineup at designated hitter, playing for the first time September 4, and he’s back in the cleanup spot versus left-hander Jon Lester. Lefty bat Matt Adams moves down in the order and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has again benched Jon Jay in favor of righty bat Shane Robinson.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
3B Xander Bogaerts
SS Stephen Drew
C David Ross
SP Jon Lester
Red Sox manager John Farrell is yet again going with righty bat Jonny Gomes over switch-hitter Daniel Nava in left field versus a right-handed pitcher. Nava hit .322 off righties during the regular season and Gomes is 5-for-25 (.200) with zero homers in the playoffs, so … who knows.
Farrell has also benched Wil Middlebrooks at third base, moving rookie Xander Bogaerts into the lineup just like he did in the ALCS finale. And behind the plate David Ross gets the start over Jarrod Saltalamacchia with Jon Lester on the mound.
Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil has had a rough start to the 2016 season. The lefty leads the majors in losses with five. With that, he carries an ugly 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. Cecil entered the season with a rather lengthy consecutive scoreless innings streak, but Jays fans seem to have short memories as the home crowd has directed boos at Cecil.
TSN’s Scott MacArthur caught up with Cecil about the booing.
Struggling early isn’t anything new to Cecil. He rode a 5.96 ERA through June 21 last year, the final time in 2015 he would yield earned runs. From his next appearance on June 24 through the end of the regular season, he posted a 44/4 K/BB ratio over 31 2/3 innings. It would behoove Jays fans to show some more patience with the lefty as Cecil could easily turn things around as he did last season.
Diamondbacks right fielder Brandon Drury made a fantastic catch in foul territory to retire Martin Prado in the bottom of the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game in Miami. The ball was hit to shallow right field and Drury reached over the low wall before toppling over.
A fan standing nearby figured it’s the perfect time for a selfie. He stood in front of Drury while the ballplayer picked himself up off the concrete. The fan swung his phone around waggled a peace sign in front of the camera and snapped a photo.
“Selfie culture” is too often assailed by people who long ago fell out of touch. This fan, however, showed no concern for Drury’s well-being and was focused only on getting the selfie. Drury, for all this fan knew, could’ve broken a bone or suffered a concussion. Not cool.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton really likes May 4. May the fourth is “Star Wars Day” for the obvious, punny reason.
While he was doing his normal workouts, Stanton donned a Chewbacca mask, then dodged imaginary lasers and fired back at his imaginary enemies. Who knew Chewy was so buff?
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had trouble coming up with an Anthony Rizzo line drive in the top of the third inning. The ball seemed to curve at the last minute, clanking off of McCutchen’s glove, setting up first and third with two outs for the Cubs. McCutchen was sacked with an error. Ben Zobrist then cranked out a three-run home run off of starter Juan Nicasio to put the Cubs up 3-0.
Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McCutchen said after the game, “Whoever scored that an error should be fired. That’s unbelievable. I did everything I could to catch it.”
Here’s the video. Rule 9.12(a) in baseball’s official rules states:
(a) The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:
(1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases
Pretty cut and dried stuff here. It was an error.