Rich Hill
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World Series Game 4 lineups

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Following Friday’s seven-hour, 20-minute marathon, the Dodgers and Red Sox are back at it again for Game 4 of the World Series. There’s really no predicting the way this game will break, considering the two clubs combined to use a total of 46 players — the Dodgers’ Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu and Red Sox’ Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale were the only members not to appear on the mound (or, like Clayton Kershaw, at the plate) — and will enter tonight’s matchup less-rested than usual.

Here are the lineups:

1. Mookie Betts (R) RF CF
2. Andrew Benintendi (L) LF
3. Steve Pearce (R) 1B
4. J.D. Martinez (R) RF
5. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
6. Eduardo Núñez (R) 3B
7. Brock Holt (L) 2B
8. Christian Vázquez (R) C
9. Eduardo Rodríguez (L)

On the hill for the Red Sox: Southpaw Eduardo Rodríguez, who will be making the first postseason start of his career. Rodríguez pitched 1/3 of an inning during Game 3 of the World Series, expending just six pitches as he struck out Joc Pederson to end the fifth. Over the course of six relief appearances this fall, the lefty has issued two hits, three runs, and five strikeouts over a cumulative 4 1/3 innings, though the club will be looking for something closer to the 3.82-ERA, 1.265-WHIP numbers he delivered during the regular season as they try to close out their third win of the series.

Alex Cora will utilize a primarily right-handed lineup against the Dodgers’ left-hander. Mookie Betts will shift from right field to center in order to accommodate J.D. Martinez in right and Andrew Benintendi in left field, while first baseman Mitch Moreland and third baseman Rafael Devers will be relegated to the bench in favor of righties Steve Pearce and Eduardo Núñez, respectively. Jackie Bradley Jr. is also expected to sit for the first time since the start of the Red Sox’ postseason run, though he’ll presumably be available to pinch-hit or sub into the outfield if need be.

1. David Freese (R) 1B
2. Max Muncy (L) 2B
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Manny Machado (R) SS
5. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
6. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
7. Chris Taylor (R) LF
8. Austin Barnes (R) C
9. Rich Hill (L) P

Against Rodríguez, the Dodgers will roll with lefty Rich Hill as planned, as Dave Roberts elected not to start the game with an ‘opener’. Hill made his last playoff start during Game 4 of the NLCS and pitched the Dodgers to victory with five innings of one-run, six-strikeout ball. Behind him, David Freese will bat leadoff and play first base, with game-winner Max Muncy scooting over to second base and swapping places with Justin Turner in the no. 2 spot. Chris Taylor will resume his post in left field as Joc Pederson takes a seat on the bench, while behind the plate, the Dodgers will go to Austin Barnes in place of Yasmani Grandal.

Game 4 will kick off at Dodger Stadium at 8:09 PM EDT.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.