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.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.