World Series 2011: Lance Berkman To Hit Cleanup For Game 6

The lineups aren't out for Game 6 yet, but Tony La Russa has confirmed one thing:

Berkman will hit cleanup in Game 6

If you've read The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, or shared a straw with someone who has, you'll know that lineups aren't especially important over the long haul. Switching a really good hitter and a wretched hitter between the #4 and #8 slots might add a win or two over a full season.

If you had the power of 20/20 hindsight while making the lineup cards out, though, the differences would make a heckuva lot of difference. Last night, Ron Washington walked Albert Pujols three times to get to Matt Holliday, who was 1-for-3 after the intentional walks. Pujols did not score after any of the walks.

With Berkman hitting cleanup last night, are things different? Don't know. They certainly couldn't have been lossier, so it might have helped. But for one night, the permutation of batters and base runners wasn't in the Cardinals' favor.

Not that that's a good reason to flip the two hitters now, of course. It's just about as likely for Berkman to futz up with runners on base as it is for Holliday. Still, the switch is in for Game 6. Let's see if it makes a difference.

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