Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:
TEXAS RANGERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B 1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Elvis Andrus, SS 2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, LF 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Michael Young, 1B 4. Lance Berkman, RF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B 5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. Nelson Cruz, RF 6. David Freese, 3B
7. Mike Napoli, C 7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Craig Gentry, CF 8. Nick Punto, 2B
SP Colby Lewis, RHP SP Jaime Garcia, LHP
With a left-hander on the mound Rangers manager Ron Washington made just one lineup change compared to Game 1, replacing the left-handed-hitting David Murphy with the right-handed-hitting Craig Gentry. He also has Gentry in center field with Josh Hamilton shifting to left field, which makes sense given that the reigning MVP is playing at considerably less than full strength due to a groin injury.
Tony La Russa is sticking with the same eight starters as Game 1, but he flip-flopped Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman in the batting order. Berkman is a switch-hitter who’s typically been much worse versus left-handers, so it makes sense to have him back in the cleanup spot versus right-hander Colby Lewis.
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.