NLCS Game 3 lineups: Brewers vs. Cardinals

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Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Brewers-Cardinals series:

   MILWAUKEE BREWERS            ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Corey Hart, RF            1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, CF           2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF            3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B        4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B          5. Lance Berkman, RF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B        6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS   7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C        8. Nick Punto, 2B

SP Yovani Gallardo, RHP      SP Chris Carpenter, RHP

Nyjer Morgan is slumping offensively and struggling defensively, so manager Ron Roenicke has benched him for Game 3 despite facing a right-hander. However, instead of starting Carlos Gomez he’s going with Mark Kotsay, who’s 37 years old and started just nine games in center field during the regular season. Kotsay is 4-for-11 off Carpenter during his career, but 11 at-bats spread over a decade isn’t exactly meaningful.

With ground-baller Chris Carpenter on the mound Tony La Russa is going with his best defensive second baseman, Nick Punto. He’s also sticking with Matt Holliday in the cleanup spot and Lance Berkman batting fifth.

Yadier Molina ties record for the most games caught with one team

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Yadier Molina has two World Series rings, multiple Gold Gloves, Platinum Gloves, All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award. He now has an all-time record too.

The record: the most games caught with one team. Last night he caught his 1756th career game with the Cardinals, with ties him with Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs, who last caught in 1941 and set the record in 1940, his last season with Chicago. Molina will break the record next time he dons the tools of ignorance, likely tonight against the Phillies.

Given how badly catchers get beaten up — and Molina has taken a beating at times in his career — and given how well mastery of the position leads to a catcher earning journeyman status, as it were, it’s quite a thing to catch that many games for one team.

Given that Molina is under contract with the Cardinals for two more seasons and has stated his desire to retire a Cardinal many times, he’s likely to put that record so far out of reach that it’ll likely take at least another 78 years to break it, if indeed it is ever broken.