ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 05: Skip Schumaker #55 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to the cutoff after fielding a hit during Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on October 5, 2011 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
As the 2011 World Series dawns the St. Louis Cardinals look much more stable than they have all year—which doesn't mean Tony La Russa isn't itching to try something new.
Through the fickleness of injuries and the vagaries of team defense the St. Louis Cardinals come into the 2011 World Series less likely to tinker than they've been all postseason. With Skip Schumaker only just returning from an injury and, according to Tony La Russa, unlikely to play second base, and Ryan Theriot passed over in favor of defensive whiz Nick Punto against the left-handed C.J. Wilson, it looks like the Cardinals might play something approximating a set lineup on the infield for the first time in a while.
The outfield, of course, is another story—with the DH in play in Texas, the Cardinals will have to decide whether Lance Berkman or Allen Craig is better suited to chase the baseballs at the Ballpark in Arlington. Given Berkman's poor defensive numbers and reputation (and age and footspeed and and and), Craig is the logical choice to play the field in Texas, but that should give you no certainty as to which one La Russa will choose.
Given the Cardinals' recent proclivities for bullpen usage, maybe La Russa is just desperate to maintain his pinch-hitter options as long as possible. Hey, it worked in Game 1.