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.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.