World Series Game 5 lineups: Rangers vs. Cardinals

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Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:

   TEXAS RANGERS              ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B         1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Elvis Andrus, SS        2. Allen Craig, RF
3. Josh Hamilton, CF       3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Michael Young, DH       4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B       5. Lance Berkman, DH
6. Nelson Cruz, RF         6. David Freese, 3B
7. David Murphy, LF        7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Mike Napoli, C          8. Skip Schumaker, CF
9. Mitch Moreland, 1B      9. Nick Punto, 2B

SP C.J. Wilson, LHP        SP Chris Carpenter, RHP

That’s the same lineup Ron Washington used in Game 4, so he’s sticking with a struggling Mitch Moreland at first base and leaving Mike Napoli’s team-leading OPS in the eighth spot. In fact, among all hitters in baseball to play 100 or more games this season Napoli had the second-highest OPS behind only Jose Bautista. As we saw last night that’s one helluva eighth-place hitter, but it would also be one helluva cleanup hitter.

St. Louis, on the other hand, is shaking things up after being shut out in Game 4. Skip Schumaker, who missed the entire NLCS with an oblique injury and hasn’t started a game in the World Series, has replaced Jon Jay in center field. Jay is just 8-for-51 (.167) in the playoffs, including 0-for-14 in the World Series, but Schumaker is also a left-handed batter and has hit just .222 with a .560 OPS versus left-handed pitching during the past three seasons.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.