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Game 1 Lineups: Coste and Aybar at DH

Right now, there is a giant American flag on the ground in the outfield at Tropicana Field, stretching nearly from the left-field foul line to the wall in right-center. I'm assuming it'll be picked up before batting practice starts.

A couple of notes about the lineups: The Phillies went with backup catcher Chris Coste as their DH, owing to his strong splits against LHPs. However, this move carries a bit of danger, in that if anything happens to regular catcher Carlos Ruiz, forcing Coste to move behind the plate, the Phillies would lose the DH. Also, Manager Charlie Manuel went with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in their customary 3-4 spots, choosing not to split them up with a RH bat, such as Jayson Werth or Pat Burrell.

For the Rays, Ben Zobrist is the surprise starter in right field, his first start of the postseason. Most folks assumed the Rays would start Rocco Baldelli there tonight against the LH Cole Hamels.

First pitch is about 3 1/2 hours away. Here are the full lineups:

Jimmy Rollins (S) - 6
Jayson Werth (R) - 9
Chase Utley (L) - 4
Ryan Howard (L) - 3
Pat Burrell (R) - 7
Shane Victorino (S) - 8
Pedro Feliz (R) - 5
Chris Coste (R) - DH
Carlos Ruiz (R) - C
(Cole Hamels - 1)

Akirnori Iwamura (L) - 4
B.J. Upton (R) - 8
Carlos Pena (L) - 3
Evan Longoria (R) - 5
Carl Crawford (L) - 7
Willy Aybar (S) - DH
Dioner Navarro (S) - C
Ben Zobrist (S) - 9
Jason Bartlett (R) - 6
(Scott Kazmir - 1)

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 22, 2008; 4:56 PM ET
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Can you explain the "lose the DH" line? Are teams not allowed to substitute for the DH as they are allowed to substitute for players at any other position? In other words, if Coste had to move to catcher could they not replace him with some other player in the DH slot?

Posted by: confused | October 22, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Confused - you are basically right. Unlike all other positions, if you move the DH into the field, the pitcher must bat (or be pinch hit for).

I'm not sure what the rule is if you move a pitcher into the field. I remember this being done with Tom Burgmier, a lefty who would occasionally be moved to the outfield when a righty was to bat and then back to pitcher when a lefty batted. Now that would be good trivia.

Posted by: PTBNL | October 22, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

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