World Series Game 7: Cardinals Reshuffle The Lineup

Momentum is only as good as the strength of a barky elbow, and Chris Carpenter's right arm is what St. Louis is counting on for Game 7. The Cardinals decided to mix things up all crazy-like to support him:

Ryan Theriot - 2B
Allen Craig - LF
Albert Pujols - 1B
Lance Berkman# - RF
David Freese - 3B
Yadier Molina - C
Rafael Furcal# - SS
Skip Schumaker* - CF
Chris Carpenter - P

The three biggest news items here:

1. For the second time in the series, Tony La Russa decides to put the left-handed hitting infielder in center field instead of the left-handed hitting center fielder. It's even more amazing when you consider that La Russa let Schumaker face left-handed pitching just 43 times during the entire regular season. Now he's starting in center for the 54th time in his seven-year career because suddenly La Russa is okay with him hitting against lefties. Huh.

Don't sell Schumaker short, though. He does have the highest strikeout rate (18 K/9) of any player in the World Series, so he could contribute mightily.

2. Rafael Furcal, who has been horribly slumping, moves down to Schumakerville at the bottom of the lineup. This is the first game out of the lead-off spot in the entire postseason, and it's all to get Ryan Theriot those extra at-bats. He does have a .222 OBP this series, so he's hot. 

3. Matt Holliday is out, and he isn't even on the roster to pinch hit after he sprained something on the end of his arm. Wrist, finger ... something.

Matt Harrison didn't do well in Game 4, but he was also exceptionally unlucky. He'll face a different lineup this time around in Game 7.

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