ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the sixth inning during Game Four of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Napoli, Holland Help Rangers Even World Series

Mike Napoli blasted a three-run homer, Derek Holland turned in 8⅓ shutout innings, and the Rangers knocked off the Cardinals 4-0 to tie the series going into Monday's Game 5.

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Cardinals Lineup Revealed For World Series Game 4

In Saturday night's Game 3 of the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals scored 16 runs, collecting 15 hits and six walks. They began against a lefty starter, and Sunday, they begin against another lefty starter. Sounds like Tony La Russa should prepare the same exact starting lineup, right? Well, he did, almost.

Rafael Furcal#, SS
Allen Craig, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Matt Holliday, LF
Lance Berkman#, DH
David Freese, 3B
Yadier Molina, C
Jon Jay*, CF
Nick Punto#, 2B

The one difference between the Game 4 lineup and the Game 3 lineup? In Game 3, Ryan Theriot started at second base instead of Punto, and went 1-for-4 with a walk. I'm not sure why La Russa opted to make a change, given that Theriot has historically been the better player against southpaws, but I note that Punto is 3-for-5 in his career against Derek Holland, with a home run, while Theriot is 0-for-3. That's not a good enough reason, and Tony La Russa is smarter than that, but it is what it is. Wait, hold on a second, a home run? A real home run? Maybe that is a good enough reason. Nick Punto hit a home run!

Everything else is the same. Everything else is absurdly good. The switch-hitting Berkman is considerably worse from the right side than he is from the left side, but it's convenient to have him in there for when Ron Washington wants to go to the bullpen.

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