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Cardinals, Nationals lineups for NLCS Game 3

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The Cardinals cannot, per MLB rules, get rid of their entire lineup and hire, say, the Boston Red Sox hitters for tonight’s game, even if they wanted to. And given how the last two games have gone, they probably want to. Heck, maybe they’re even regretting that 13-spot they put on the Braves in Game 5 of the NLDS because it used up all their runs for the month or something. No idea.

I do know, though, that they have shaken things up a bit for this evening’s game, putting in José Martínez — who has two pinch-hits in this series — moving Tommy Edman to third and benching Matt Carpenter:

1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. José Martínez (R) RF
7. Tommy Edman (S) 3B
8. Paul DeJong (R) SS
9. Jack Flaherty (R) P

The Nats, meanwhile, go with this setup. Which, for the first time since Game 2 of the NLDS, includes Víctor Robles:

1. Trea Turner (R) SS
2. Adam Eaton (L) RF
3. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
4. Juan Soto (L) LF
5. Howie Kendrick (R) 2B
6. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
7. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
8. Víctor Robles (R) CF
9. Stephen Strasburg (R) P

Game time is 7:38 this evening.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).