Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lineup notes for Game 1

Joe Torre has indicated that he will be juggling his lineup a bit for Game 1 of the NLCS against Cole Hamels. While the Dodgers only faced righties against the Cubs in Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, and Rich Harden, the Phillies will have Hamels and Jamie Moyer on the other side of the mound.

Here's what the lineup should look like Thursday night:

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

I have to also wonder if Kemp and Loney will switch spots. Torre didn't say anything about that, so maybe not. Loney definitely had the better Division Series, as his grand slam turned the whole series around. Kemp never really got on track, gathering 2 hits, but both were doubles at least.

As far as the starting rotation goes, it will remain unchanged from the last series. Lowe goes first, followed by Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda. Game 4 will be interesting. It could be Lowe on 3 days' rest, Clayton Kershaw, or Greg Maddux. I would cross Maddux off the list because I don't think he matches up well against that lineup. Kershaw could get the start if the Dodgers have the series lead and if he hasn't been used all that much. Or, Lowe could go, especially if the Dodgers are losing and need a win.

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