NLDS, Game 4: Dodgers vs. Cardinals lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Dodgers-Cardinals series in St. Louis:

Dodgers:
2B Dee Gordon
LF Carl Crawford
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Matt Kemp
SS Hanley Ramirez
CF Andre Ethier
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
SP Clayton Kershaw

In addition to making the call to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest manager Don Mattingly also made a big change by benching Yasiel Puig in favor of Andre Ethier. Puig is better than Ethier defensively and had a significantly higher OPS versus right-handers this season (.901 to .710), so this is Mattingly playing the small sample size/gut feeling game.

Cardinals:
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Randal Grichuk
LF Matt Holliday
SS Jhonny Peralta
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
CF Jon Jay
2B Kolten Wong
SP Shelby Miller

Lefty-hitting rookie Kolten Wong was on the bench against Kershaw in Game 1, but after homering last night he’s in the lineup this time around instead of Pete Kozma. In fact, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is sticking with an identical lineup to Game 3.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.