NLDS Game 2 lineups: Cardinals vs. Phillies

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Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the NLDS between the Cardinals and Phillies, set to get underway Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.

  ST. LOUIS CARDINALS           PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
1. Rafael Furcal, SS           1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Allen Craig, RF             2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B           3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Lance Berkman, LF           4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. David Freese, 3B            5. Shane Victorino, CF
6. Yadier Molina, C            6. Raul Ibanez, LF
7. Ryan Theriot, 2B            7. Placido Polanco, 3B
8. Jon Jay, CF                 8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Chris Carpenter, RHP        9. Cliff Lee, LHP

Matt Holliday was able to pinch-hit at the end of Saturday’s loss, but he is still being bothered by discomfort in his right middle finger. Craig is drawing yet another start in the outfield. Pujols has a sore heel but will continue playing through the pain. Theriot starts at second base in place of Skip Schumaker, who struggles against left-handed pitching.

The Phillies are using the same exact batting order that helped them to an 11-6 victory in Game 1.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.