Here are the lineups for Game 6 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:
TEXAS RANGERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B 1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Elvis Andrus, SS 2. Skip Schumaker, 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 Ron Washington is starting Craig Gentry over David Murphy, using him in center field while shifting Josh Hamilton and his sore groin to left field. That should help Colby Lewis, who’s a fly-ball pitcher. Beyond that it’s a standard lineup for the Rangers, who continue to bat Mike Napoli much lower than his performance all season warrants. Hamilton is the only left-handed hitter in the lineup versus southpaw Jaime Garcia, who shut out this identical lineup for seven innings in Game 2.
Tony La Russa made one change compared to the lineup that scored one run in 6.2 innings off Lewis in Game 2, benching Jon Jay in favor of Skip Schumaker in center field. Lance Berkman is in the cleanup spot, with Matt Holliday batting fifth. And Nick Punto gets the nod over Ryan Theriot at second base. Allen Craig is back to a bench role after starting all three games in Texas.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.