Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lineup for Game 1 is released

Joe Torre has made up his mind, and here is your official lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS tomorrow in Chicago:

1. Rafael Furcal - SS
2. Russell Martin - C
3. Manny Ramirez - LF
4. Andre Ethier - RF
5. James Loney - 1B
6. Matt Kemp - CF
7. Blake DeWitt - 2B
8. Casey Blake - 3B
9. Derek Lowe - P

The first thing that jumps out to everyone is that Furcal has convinced Torre that he's healthy enough to not only play, but be a big factor. While some may point to how well Angel Berroa has played lately, I think Raffy deserves this kind of treatment. After the way he started the season so red-hot, if he says he's good to go, then they should take his word for it.

I was a bit surprised to see Blake in the #8 spot, but that may have more to do with Torre wanting his left-handed hitters bunched up against the righty Ryan Dempster. It's understandable. If we get to a Game 4 and Ted Lilly takes the mound, then Blake will more than likely find himself hitting higher.

From what I can tell, sometime tomorrow afternoon is when the official rosters need to be in for the first round. What we do know is that Raffy is in, Jeff Kent is probably in, and Hong-Chih Kuo is out.

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