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.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.
The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.
Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.