As Phillies stay with lineup, Rays adjust
Gross starts for Tampa Bay in surprise matchup with Moyer
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel stuck to his normal lineup for Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, while there was one surprise in Joe Maddon's Rays lineup -- left-handed batter Gabe Gross starting in right field and hitting against Phillies lefty starter Jamie Moyer.
Gross hit .191 against lefties this season. Moyer allowed a .240 average against left-handed batters, .270 vs. right-handed batters. Maddon said right-handed-hitting Rocco Baldelli's health was not a factor, even with rain falling pregame and possible wet conditions in the outfield.
"I really was pondering that one a lot," Maddon said about the decision to start Gross in right field. "Again, it's versus Jamie Moyer, the left-handed situation. You look at Jamie, I've known him for years. You look at our right-handed hitters versus him, you look at our left-handed hitters against him. Believe me, that one I went back and forth with a lot.
"I was not comfortable making that decision until I really let it stir a bit. The way Gabe swings, the swing path where Jamie likes to throw the ball, I felt Gabe was the best matchup with him even over our right-handed hitters tonight. So we chose to go in that direction, and that's quite frankly the reasons.
Game 3 Lineups
|1) Iwamura 2B||1) Rollins SS|
|2) Upton CF||2) Werth RF|
|3) Pena 1B||3) Utley 2B|
|4) Longoria 3B||4) Howard 1B|
|5) Crawford LF||5) Burrell LF|
|6) Navarro C||6) Victorino CF|
|7) Gross RF||7) Feliz 3B|
|8) Bartlett SS||8) Ruiz C|
|9) Garza P||9) Moyer P|
"Again, not trying to get too smart, but when we have so many options, almost too many options -- like in right field we could go either Ben [Zobrist] or Fernando [Perez] or Rocco and, of course, Gabe, and the other guys being right-handed it looks like you might go that way. For those of you that have watched Jamie pitch in the past, sometimes it might be better left-handed."
The other change to the Rays' lineup was the loss of the designated hitter for games played in National League parks. That meant switch-hitting Willy Aybar did not start the game, and catcher Dioner Navarro moved up to the No. 6 spot in the lineup.
The Phils, despite struggling offensively in Games 1-2, especially with runners in scoring position (1-for-28), stuck with Jayson Werth in the second spot and Shane Victorino hitting No. 6. Victorino is batting .500 and Werth .333 in the World Series; Victorino is .325 for the entire postseason and Werth .261.
"We've got basically the same lineup, Werth is second, Victorino is in sixth and I'll stay with the same lineup," Manuel said. "I thought about maybe switching Howard and Utley [in the 3-4 spot], but ... I didn't see a reason why to bust them up."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.