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Nationals, Cardinals lineups for NLCS Game 4

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Every game remaining in the NLCS is now for all the marbles. If the Nationals win, whether it’s tonight or the ensuing three potential games, they will earn entry into the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The Nationals will send their $140 million pitcher, Patrick Corbin, out to the mound in their first attempt to clinch. He’ll be opposed by 25-year-old Dakota Hudson who has pitched once this postseason. Hudson gave up four runs (one earned) in 4 2/3 innings against the Braves in Game 4 of the NLDS. Corbin was excellent in his one start this postseason, allowing two runs (one earned) in six innings against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS. He has pitched three times in relief since.

Here’s how the lineups are shaking out:

Cardinals

3B Tommy Edman
RF José Martínez
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
C Yadier Molina
SS Paul DeJong
CF Harrison Bader
2B Kolten Wong
P Dakota Hudson

Manager Mike Shildt is trying to jump-start his slumbering offense which has managed just two total runs in the first three games of the NLDS. The previous three lineups saw Dexter Fowler at the top of the lineup, but they have gone a combined 0-for-21. Edman (0-for-10) and Martínez (4-for-6) are the new 1-2 punch. Bader is also in the lineup, making his first start of the NLCS.

Nationals

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Victor Robles
C Yan Gomes
P Patrick Corbin

The only big difference in the Nationals’ lineup is Yan Gomes, starting for the first time in the series. Kurt Suzuki (1-for-8) gets the night off.

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).