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Game 1 Lineups

It's still overcast, but there's no rain ... yet. This comes to you from the right field stands at Fenway, where I have my seat. Going to run to listen to Francona in a minute, but we need lineups first.

Willy Taveras -- 8
Kazuo Matsui -- 4
Matt Holliday -- 7
Garrett Atkins -- 5
Brad Hawpe -- 9
Troy Tulowitzki -- 6
Yorvit Torrealba -- 2
Ryan Spilborghs -- DH

Jeff Francis -- 1

Dustin Pedroia -- 4
Kevin Youkilis -- 3
David Ortiz -- DH
Manny Ramirez -- 7
Mike Lowell -- 5
Jason Varitek -- 2
J.D. Drew -- 9
Julio Lugo -- 6
Jacoby Ellsbury -- 8

Josh Beckett -- 1

Only things of significance, it seems, is the fact that Spilborghs is Clint Hurdle's choice at DH and Lugo moves to eighth for the Sox -- because Ellsbury, a left-handed hitter, is facing the lefy Francis.

We'll get you more before first pitch.

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 24, 2007; 4:35 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Pre-Series drizzle, plus minor Nats news
Next: Draft Analysis: Nats No. 1 -- plus Game 2 lineups



Someone in the chat was talking about the DH, and they were commenting that it provided an advantage to the NL in the World Series... and I think these lineups are exactly why that's not true - though I would go on record now saying that I hate the DH.

Notice that the Rockies DH is Spillborgh, batting ninth... not really a powerhouse, and will by definintion, get the fewest ABs, and it takes away a bench player.

Posted by: Wigi | October 24, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I have a tendency to post right after a new one is up. Instead of copying, I want to make it interesting. Who wants to read it? Its only one click away.... I'll be lurking as usual awaiting any response.

Posted by: theraph | October 24, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

why not nova's own Jeff baker in the DH spot...represent the PeeDub

Posted by: love | October 24, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take on the Rockies' in Slate and sense I said something to this effect earlier today, I support it!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Also, I hereby declare the Post headline thieves!!! Rock 'em, Sock 'em is mine!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

while putting spillbroughs in the DH does technically remove a bench player, both teams are in that position. plus, if you have a DH, the bench players themselves are devalued because there's not nearly as much pinch hitting when you don't have to deal with pitchers batting.

whether it's a disadvantage to the NL team just depends on their depth and whether they have a quality hitting position player who would normally be on the bench that gets to hit for those games.

plus, while it's a big advantage for the AL when you're playing a team like boston who has one of the best hitters in the game playing DH, what if it was minnesota representing the AL? their DHs were awful this year. not every AL team has a DH like boston/ny/cleveland. and, while technically the DH for anaheim was vlad, he's not normally their DH. and their DH for most of the season wasn't very good either.

the question is does that offset the disadvantage an AL team like boston faces when (arguably, this season) their best hitter is their DH and a defensive liability, forcing them to push out one of their other top 4 hitters to use him with no DH?

not only that, in NL parks they could be using bench players for more pinch-hitting appearances, which the NL bench players are quite used to doing and most of the AL bench players are not. and we've seen over the years that some players are much better at coming off the bench for a pinch hit app than others.

Posted by: other 506 | October 24, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The only advantage that an AL team has in this DH debate is that NL has to put some guy in there who hasn't done it all year. There's a certain rhythm to the position that requires some getting used. Some guys never do and don't prosper at it. It's also one reason why teams who don't settle on one DH generally don't get very good production out of it.

Strategically though, all the advantage goes to the NL team. It's much easier for the NL manager to transition to using the DH than for the AL manager to do the opposite. Managing an NL roster is an NL game is much more complicated. This humble opinion is coming from someone who was a die hard AL fan for the first 39 years of his life and only became an NL fan when the Nats came to town. I now find the NL game much more interesting to watch - mainly because of the pitcher having to hit.

Posted by: #4 | October 24, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

When I used to be an Orioles fan I was used to seeing Harold Baines as the DH and hitting 4th, just like Boston.
It took a while for me to realize that this isn't the norm in the AL. There just aren't a ton of guys who hit that well, yet don't play in the field too.

Makes you wonder why Bonds has been hobbling around in Left Field for so long...ditto that for Adam Dunn, but insert Waddling for hobbling.

Posted by: estuartj | October 24, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

You were robbed, Sect. 506 (before yada yada yada)! Thanks for the Slate link. Will check it out.

Theraph, I thought you made some excellent points in your post in the previous thread.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the sentiments expressed here about the relative advantages and disadvantages associated with the DH, pitchers batting and overall strategy.

The person in the chat was trying to argue that the Rockies benefitted when playing in Fenway because they got to substitute a hitter for their pitcher while Boston just used its "regular lineup." That argument doesn't hold up, of course, because Boston's DH is their best hitter while Colorado's is their fourth outfielder. No NL team has a masher on their bench that can't field (OK, well, maybe the Giants had a guy like that this year), because those guys limit your options in an NL game where your bench guys are more likely to be versatile utility guys and/or defensive replacements. So Boston has an advantage in Boston where Ortiz is better than Ryan Spillbeans or whatever his name is. But I think Boston's advantage in Fenway is more than offset by Colorado's advantage in Coors. Would be great to see Francis outduel Beckett in a tight one tonight.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 24, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

the slate piece is great. Theo Epstein has been called a "Moneyball" guy but the Red Sox have valued defensive metrics since he got their. You may recall in 2004 that one of the key moves the Red sox made at the trade deadline was to pick up Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera for Nomar, who by that point was a major defensive liablity. In the playoffs, when the Red Sox would get a lead, they would bring Pokey Reese in for Mark Bellhorn, Mient . . . for Millar, and sometimes Kapler for Manny, to go with their already pretty solid left side of Mueller and Cabrera. This year, Drew's defensive reputation was part of the reason given for the switch from Trot to Drew. I'm not saying they this year are in Colorado's level, but they were 3d in fielding, I believe (BTW- Manny was a pre-Theo decision, so it does not go against this point).

Posted by: jon | October 24, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand. What is the point of putting the DH 9th? Do they not have anyone on the bench who is better then a #9 hitter? How does that happen?

Posted by: IBC | October 24, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the idea is if you don't have a spair smasher on you bench to insert in the center of the order then don't mess with the order you use the rest of the time, it does basically give you a 2nd lead off man after the first time through the order.

Posted by: estuartj | October 24, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

IBH, that's the point. If an NL team had a position player that was better than one of their starters, he'd be one of the starters and wouldn't be on the bench. Now, could you hit Spillbeans above Torrealba (who, by the way, is the out-of-wedlock son of Joe Torre and Jessica Alba), but you don't hit him above anybody else in the Rox lineup.

Not the way Clint Hurdle drew it up so far, 4-0 Sawwx. But you have to admire Youk's hustle on that last play. Tolbert or the Cleveland 3b coach would have screwed that one up.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 24, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

It does make you wonder why the angels haven't made a trade for Adam Dunn. They need the power, they have the prospects to trade, and lord knows the Reds need the influx of new talent...

Posted by: estuartj | October 24, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

11pm, 13-1 Sox in the 5th inning.

'Night, folks.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 24, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it will matter if Boston has to go without Ortiz in Colorado, they better waterlog those balls in the humidor if they hope to keep the scores in single digits for any of the 4 games in this series

Posted by: estuartj | October 24, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

bob l head, i kinda agree with you and kinda disagree on the "If an NL team had a position player that was better than one of their starters, he'd be one of the starters" point.

it really depends on position. i'm not sayin this is true with colorado, but it's altogether possible that your 4th OF is a better hitter than your middle infielders and catcher, it's just that he can't play MI or C.

Posted by: other 506 | October 24, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm also calling it a night.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Over/under on end of the game is 1:36am.

Posted by: estuartj | October 24, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Top of the ninth, Gagne coming in. I'm afraid, I'm very afraid.

Posted by: #1 Lurker | October 25, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I went to my favorite website today, saw 3 articles on the Red Sox, another on BC, read up on the Patriots next opponent, saw the piece about Antoine Walker, Ricky Davis, and Mark Blount being traded, scanned the MLS playoff predictions for news about the Revolution - Red Bull series, and then I realized I had not clicked on after all.

Jiminez may not be the guy to execute this given his wildness, but Colorado pitchers have got to throw strike 1 and follow it with another in the strike zone. Avoids the long at bats. Walks kill. Trust your fielders. Pretty basic stuff. If the wind is left to right, Fenway plays big except for dead pull pops around Pesky's Pole.

As for who is better off, an NL team with a DH or an AL team without one, as these teams are structured, it is kind of mathematical: which has greater absolute value - [Ortiz - Spillborgh] or [AL pitcher's offense - (Ortiz or Lowell or Youk's offense)]? That is before considering the defensive impact if Youk or Lowell is not at their regular position at Coors.

Posted by: jon | October 25, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Ken Rosenthal is an idiot. Did anyone catch his flub last night? He was commenting on the ease in which the Rockies made it through the playoffs and how their pitching hadn't met up with as patient/powerful a lineup as the Red Sox.

He mentioned that in the first round they played the Cubs, whose offense was terribly overrrated then they played the D'Backs whose offense was non-existent.

Only problem is the Rockies played the PHILLIES in the first round. Could have been a salient point by Rosenthal if he had just gotten his facts straight. Idiot.

BTW, I think the Rocks will win tonight. The they'll probably go back to Denver and win two of the three games played there, then go back to Boston where the Sox will win games 6 and 7.

Posted by: e | October 25, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head wrote: "Torrealba (who, by the way, is the out-of-wedlock son of Joe Torre and Jessica Alba)"

EWWWWW. That leads to imagine certain images I don't want to imagine before I've had coffee.

Or after I've had coffee, for that matter.

Posted by: Formerly Section 502 (Now Needs Brainwashing) | October 25, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Other 506, you have a point, a team might well have a fourth outfielder that could hit better than a starting middle infielder. Overall, though, I was responding to IBC, who expressed shock that Spillbeans was batting ninth, and trying to make the point that if the Rox had a masher on the bench that could hit 3-4-5 for them, he'd soon be in the starting lineup someplace.

Also, 506 (after moving), the Post didn't steal my line from last night, but Clint Hurdle did.

Me, in my post above at 9:31 pm: "Not the way Clint Hurdle drew it up so far, 4-0 Sawwx."

Then this from Sheinin's gamer: "That," Manager Clint Hurdle said, "is not the way we drew it up."

Oh, and sorry about the TorreAlba imagery (though half of it's not bad ...)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 25, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Also from the unsavory thoughts department (not that there's anything wrong with it), Garrett Atkins had this to say:

"I'm going to go to bed tonight thinking about [Curt] Schilling."

Full story (and context) here:

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what FOX's ratings were after the 5th inning last night?

Posted by: Juan-John | October 25, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Rosenthal is not only an idiot he is a smug idiot. Often wrong, never in doubt as the cliche goes. And brother am I tired of Fox's visuals - all closeups. It's not a soap opera people, it's a baseball game. Show enough of the field to allow us to get a feel for what's happening. Their quick shots - a second or 2? - of the whole field once in a while were only a tease. Sorry for the grumpy post. I guess cranky old geezer today.

Posted by: Geezer | October 25, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Boz has the 8-days thing right. No Major League pitcher - not even Beckett - can throw that many fastballs for strikes unless the batters are way off.

The biggest thing in the DH debate is so far missing: the effect nine regular batters has on a pitcher. There's no easy out, no pitching around one guy. Everyone in the order has some protection. That's likely to disadvantage the NL a lot more than the AL, since it's much easier for a pitcher to adjust to having an easy out than needing to make quality pitches to all nine batters.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 25, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

From Richard Armour, "My No-Longer Lovable Red Sox"

"It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived ... as a professional sports team," Roger Angell once wrote. That was 32 years ago, and since then I have taken on a career, a home and a family, and put away (most) childish things. Not all of them. It was the "business of caring," Angell concluded, that justifies the affiliation. It does not so much matter what one cared about, he wrote, as long as one could retain this feeling in their soul. "Naiveté--the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball--seems a small price to pay for such a gift."

Posted by: flynnie | October 25, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that's Mark Armour.

Posted by: flynnie | October 25, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Then there's the lore of the game, those charming and occasionally apocryphal tales. Like the one about when Yogi Berra was introduced to Ernest Hemingway, he didn't ask about what deep and complex matters drove him to put words on a page. He asked "What paper you write for, Ernie?"

"Why I Love Baseball" By Jeff Shaw

Posted by: flynnie | October 25, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse


responded to your post from last night on the previous thread.

Posted by: theraph | October 25, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Slow day here on NJ so I went shopping for middle infielders and CFs that are either free agents or rumored to be available in trades, and that can hit at the top of the order, and that are relatively inexpensive.

The best I found: Luis Castillo and Edgar Renteria. (If we're not going to sign one of the big-name CFs we're better off platooning Church and Logan for next year).

Castillo, 32, is a free agent. He hit .301/.362/.359 this year, and stole 19 bases, and these numbers are consistent with his career averages. We could probably sign him to a 3-year, $15 million contract and stick him in the leadoff spot.

Renteria, also 32, hit .332/.390./470 this year, with 12 homers and 11 SBs. He's a free agent after 2008, but may be available because it looks like Yunel Escobar is ready to take over at short for the Bravos. He makes $9-10 mil, which is too much, but Boston covers about a third of that, which makes him reasonable.

So, how would this look in 2008:

1. Castillo, 2b
2. Renteria, ss
3. Zimmerman, 3b
4. Young/Johnson, 1b
5. Kearns, rf
6. Pena, lf
7. Church/Logan, cf
8. Schneider/Flores, c

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 25, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

theraph - just read your response - I believe it is as emotional as you say mine was...oh well, I disagree with you, but I'm glad you have strong feelings on the subject. I've lived in the Washington and Baltimore areas and found mostly sports fans. In GENERAL, Baltimore people either hate and/or are prejudiced against Washington. I'm not sure why, they themselves say it is an inferiority complex. I never understood that, I think both cities are great in their own ways. Washington people generally ignore Baltimore.

I think both cities have much in common - both know the pain of losing a sports franchise (Senators and Colts), both love sports, mainly football, both have passionate sports fans.

My main point is that the Nats should market as far and wide as they can -- even to tourist and travel agencies and conventions to get tickets included in the packages to see the new ballpark - have tours of the park included as a stop in all those tour mobiles and duck tours and the like. They should market to the world as the world visits DC every year!

I like that you're holding fast to your opinions - but that's all they are - just like mine. Glad you're a baseball fan.

I'd like to see BOTH the Nats and the O's prosper (except when the Nats play the O's, then I'm all for the Nats) so this area becomes one of the best baseball regions in the world! I see nothing but good if that happens.

Posted by: natswriter | October 25, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder what FOX's ratings were after the 5th inning last night?

Posted by: Juan-John | October 25, 2007 11:09 AM "


The second law of RedSoxNation is "you always watch till the very end" a.k.a. "don't count your chickens..." (see also "Gagne"; "fall choke")

(Of course the first law is: "[RF] the Yankees"...but then, you knew that)

Posted by: one of Barry's Babes | October 25, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

baseball america is stating based on 2007 draft class performance, so far Nats had the best draft.

1. Nationals
2. Rangers
3. Tigers
4. Giants
5. Yankees

And that Detwiler is closest to ready for majors of any college player drafted. Josh Smoker isn't far behind either as a high schooler. they give our guys some nice grades all around.

looks to me Nats are focused on the right thing here and have their priorities straight. already seems like a long time ago Zimmerman was unknown.

we need that guy on the cherry picker to clean the camera lens again.

Posted by: longterm | October 25, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Natswriter, I wish I had your optimism and outlook on things. I agree with what you say, but cannot help thinking the worst.

Perception example:

If anyone recalls a few months ago I mentioned that I had engaged in email arguments with Keith Law of ESPN about the defensive "liability" of Ronnie Belliard. Law is always bashing the Nats at every turn, and he insisted that Belliard is the worst 2bmen in the league. I countered with my thoughts and was told, politely, that his was a professional opinion. Meanwhile, Belly ended up second in the league in fielding % and was excellent at turning the double play (something an observer would not know if they did not watch). Just another point of emphasis to show the negative stereotype the Nationals have in the public eye.

For some reason, I was offended last night when Fox ran the montage of "In case you don't know who the Rockies are, here is what they have done" segment. I hate to stir up a controversy, but are Red Sox / Yankee fans so ignorant as to not follow the rest of the league? Was that a marketing ploy to the casual baseball fan?

My friend said it best after the first inning: "Man, I am just really tired of looking and hearing about the Red Sox. It's not that I don't like them, but I'm just tired of them. I hope the Rockies win for that sole reason."

Posted by: theraph | October 25, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder what FOX's ratings were after the 5th inning last night?

Posted by: Juan-John | October 25, 2007 11:09 AM "

FOX averaged a 10.5 rating/17 share for the night (with the live broadcast, those numbers may change some), easily beating CBS, 7.8/12, for the top spot. ABC finished third at 6.8/11. NBC, 4.9/8, came in fourth, and The CW trailed with a 2.5/4

Posted by: e | October 25, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

right on theraph. seems now more than ever announcers have a story and they are sticking to it no matter whats going on the field. not much fresh analysis, or interpretation, or enthusiasm for the game i hate to say. none of these guys can think on the fly. they just remember what they are told to say. although i couldn't even give mccarver that much credit. he can't even say what he reads.

excluding jon miller and joe morgan, of course. i like them.

Posted by: longterm | October 25, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

There's a flip side to the "conventional wisdom" sports commentators use: when a team like the Rockies shatters it, the "nobody saw it coming!!!!" story line can be blabbed about for days. There's probably more of a story when they're wrong than if they're right and some team really does stink.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 25, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

since i'm on a soup box again: i do remember your keith law incident.. i would have to say that so much of what we read online is just regurgitated dribble. they cut and paste each other so much i can't even give them the credit of a conspiracy. i hated time and again this year reading about the mighty cardinals and when theirs and nats records were separated by about 2 games all year. the entire time the nats were "lowly and last place" even when they weren't in last! its almost like in January somebody hands out 5 adjectives for each team and that's all they are allowed to use when referring to a team.

i agree, i actually like a lot of the sox but i'm rooting for the rox. omg do i hate tim mccarver. and every year he keeps coming back! it's like some terrible halloween nightmare. you think you're in heaven because it's the world series and then all of a sudden this voice starts to blabber about something ridiculous.

sorry. and here i hate talking about which announcers the nats are negotiating with and i can't even get off these guys...

exit soapbox.

Posted by: longterm | October 25, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

New post up, folks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 25, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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