World Series Game 5 lineups: Rangers vs. Cardinals

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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.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.