"Basically, it's just two positions, right field and DH, that we're trying to bring it all together," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We have a lot of good candidates."
|Game 2 lineup|
|1. Akinori Iwamura||2B|
|2. B.J. Upton||CF|
|3. Carlos Pena||1B|
|4. Evan Longoria||3B|
|5. Carl Crawford||LF|
|6. Cliff Floyd||DH|
|7. Dioner Navarro||C|
|8. Rocco Baldelli||RF|
|9. Jason Bartlett||SS|
Although Baldelli's right-handed bat has traditionally been used against lefty starters such as Game 1 winner Cole Hamels, Maddon opted to give the switch-hitting Zobrist his first career postseason start instead.
Another factor in the decision was Baldelli's health. The 26-year-old was sidelined until August with a rare mitochondrial disorder that causes extreme fatigue, and Maddon has been hesitant to start Baldelli on consecutive days.
Additionally, Maddon cited the reverse splits of Philadelphia's right-handed starter Brett Myers, who is holding left-handed batters to a .235 average, while right-handed opponents are hitting .293.
"It's so easy to just go by the cookie-cutter thing," Maddon said. "I've never done that, as you well know. We talked about it a lot. It wasn't just a haphazard decision. We went back and forth, [and] weighed all the information. And I just liked Rocco better against [Myers] than [Hamels]. Being that he couldn't play two nights in a row, this is what I chose to do."
Although Floyd is a left-handed hitter, the veteran Major Leaguer's presence in Thursday's lineup was expected. He is 12-for-33 against Myers for his career, including three home runs.
The rest of the Rays' lineup mirrors Wednesday night, with right-hander James Shields taking the hill in Game 2.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.