Ned Yost scrambled up his lineup card for World Series game three against the Giants, but “it was out of necessity,” he said Friday.
Yost hadn’t changed his lineup since Sept. 20, going with shortstop Alcides Escobar, right fielder Nori Aoki, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer, DH Billy Butler, left fielder Alex Gordon, catcher Sal Perez, second baseman Omar Infante and third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Butler had to come out of the lineup for games three through five at AT&T Park because of the National League rules, but Yost went even further, putting the speed of Jarrod Dyson into the lineup for Aoki and hitting him eighth.
“With this vast outfield, we knew that we had to put our best defense out there,” Yost said.
Escobar stayed at the top of the order and Cain and Hosmer remained the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, but Yost changed up the rest after Aoki came out of the No. 2 spot, moving there Gordon from No. 6.
“We put Alex in there because of the speed of Dyson at the bottom of the order, the speed with Escobar at the top of the order,” Yost said. “Alex might get a few more fastballs to hit.”
Moustakas jumped from the No. 9 spot, now occupied by the pitcher, to behind Hosmer. Infante is hitting sixth, Perez seventh, Dyson eighth and game-three starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is ninth.
Yost said he wasn’t concerned with two left-handed hitters in Hosmer and Moustakas back-to-back.
“We moved Moose up because he’s really swinging the bat well right now…” Yost said. “A little extra protection for Hos.
“And Omar’s been swinging the bat better here, a little more protection for Moose.”
The moves leave Yost with the right-handed hitting Butler and Josh Willingham and the left-handed hitting Aoki off the bench.
“We do have some options to help us win a ballgame late,” Yost said. “…We always anticipate them being close games, and we anticipate guys coming off the bench. …
“Just because you’re not starting a … National League game doesn’t mean you’re not going to have an impact to win the game.”