Milwaukee Brewers NLCS Game 3 Lineup, Now With More Mark Kotsay

You read that right! Hit it, Ron Roenicke!

Corey Hart, RF
Mark Kotsay*, CF
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder*, 1B
Rickie Weeks, 2B
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Yovani Gallardo, SP

This entire lineup is boring and predictable, except for one part: the Mark Kotsay part. And the Mark Kotsay part happened only after considerable internal dialogue. From Adam McCalvy:

The Brewers coaching staff spent some time Tuesday debating the merits of starting Carlos Gomez in center field instead of Nyjer Morgan for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

Roenicke: So we have Morgan, and Morgan's got the lefty thing going on.
Bench Coach: Yeah.
Roenicke: But Morgan's been hitting like crap.
Bench Coach: Yeah...
Roenicke: And his defense hasn't looked great.
Bench Coach: So, Gomez?
Roenicke: I don't know...
Roenicke: I mean, he's a righty, and Carpenter's a righty, and...
Roenicke: I just don't know.
Bench Coach: Should we stick with Morgan? Think it's just a passing slump?
Kotsay: I have a crazy idea!
Bench Coach:
*I* can start!
Bench Coach:
I thought you were another coach.

Mark Kotsay is left-handed, which gives him the platoon advantage against Chris Carpenter. Nyjer Morgan is also left-handed, and one would've expected him to start, but Morgan is just 3-for-20 in the playoffs and the Brewers seem concerned that he's not swinging the bat very well. Hence Kotsay. Now, Kotsay has started just nine games in center field all season, and didn't start any games in center field in 2010, so he's not exactly a defensive asset, but he's experienced out there, and Gallardo is a strikeout pitcher anyway.

Personally, I'd play Morgan. But the difference between Morgan and Kotsay in one game right now is slim, and I'll defer to the Brewers on this one, because they're in a better decision-making position than I am. For all I know, Kotsay could deliver the game-winning hit. Weirder things have happened. Yuniesky Betancourt has a .986 playoff OPS. Yuniesky Betancourt!

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