As expected, the Cardinals are making some changes to their lineup for Game 6 of the World Series against the Rangers.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa confirmed that Lance Berkman will bat cleanup against the right-hander Colby Lewis tomorrow night (weather permitting, of course) while Matt Holliday will be dropped down to the fifth spot. This was the same arrangement the Cards used against Lewis back in Game 2.
Holliday is batting just .167 (3-for-18) during the World Series and for what it’s worth, SI’s Jon Heyman hears that his right middle finger injury “is a lot worse” than he’s letting on. Rangers manager Ron Washington will likely continue to pitch around Albert Pujols in crucial situations, but Berkman at least offers a bit more protection at the moment.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.