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October 23, 2011

World Series Game 4 Rangers pregame notes: Pitching to Pujols?

Here are a few pregame notes before the Rangers take on the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series. St. Louis currently leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

* Ron Washington doesn’t plan to put four fingers up every time Albert Pujols steps in the batter’s box tonight. But that doesn’t mean the Rangers intend to give Pujols pitches to hit. “I hope my pitchers can make him try to chase something,” Washington said. “We’re pros. We should be able to go out there and execute pitches.”

* Sticking with Pujols, Washington called him a “monster.” Washington went on to compare him to being a similar type threat to the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Asked if Pujols was better than Cabrera, Washington said: “You’re damn right he is.”

* The Rangers are giving Mitch Moreland his first start of the World Series tonight, starting at first and batting ninth. Washington believes Moreland has improved his swing with the days off, and will perform better than he has so far into the postseason.

* With Moreland in the lineup, Washington altered his lineup slightly. He didn’t want to have left-handed batters (David Murphy and Mitch Moreland) in the eight-and-nine holes, so he swapped Murphy and Mike Napoli. Murphy is batting seventh, while Napoli is batting eighth.

* Washington said everybody is available out of the bullpen, although the team would like to stay away from using Alexi Ogando. Scott Feldman, Mike Gonzalez and Darren Oliver are all ready to pitch. Game 6 starter Colby Lewis will not be available out of the bullpen.

* Washington addressed the missed umpiring call by Ron Kulpa in Game 3. He said he would be in favor of MLB adding a replay for the World Series, although he wasn’t sure how to implement it specifically. “You want everything to be right, that’s all,” Washington said. “Maybe [replay] is what they need to get it right in the World Series.”

-- Drew Davison

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