ST. LOUIS -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said it was a "tough call" leaving relievers Yoshinori Tateyama and Koji Uehara off the World Series roster. Both were told before Game 1 that they were being replaced by catcher Matt Treanor and Mark Lowe."In Matt's case, it gives me a lot more versatility with my other two catchers," Washington said. "And Mark is ready. His hamstring is fine." Lowe, who has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring, was 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 52 games. He pitched 45 innings and allowed 46 hits and 19 walks while striking out 42. He had a 2.95 ERA after the All-Star break while holding opponents to a .214 batting average. He has not pitched since Sept. 20 but has been throwing in the bullpen and got through two live batting-practice sessions in the past week without any problems. "The second time he threw live batting practice, the ball was coming out of his hand well and he was executing well," Washington said. "He's ready to go. We didn't use Tateyama a whole lot in the second round. That's why he's being replaced. Mark is ready. "In Uehara's case, he has been struggling, and we had to get Matt on. It was two tough conversations we had with those guys because at some point this year, both guys provided a lot for us."
Cruz moved up to sixth in Rangers' lineup
ST. LOUIS -- Nelson Cruz is batting sixth in Game 1 of the World Series. Manager Ron Washington decided to move Cruz ahead of catcher Mike Napoli in his lineup against Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter.Cruz batted seventh during the American League Championship Series when he hit .364 with a record six home runs and 13 RBIs. Washington resisted the urge to move up Cruz during the ALCS but decided to so in the World Series. "I just wanted to give him some protection, so I switched him with Napoli," Washington said. "If they decide to pitch around Cruz and walk him, they'll walk into a dangerous hitter with Napoli." Washington said he is going to stay with this lineup for the World Series. He also resisted any urge to move Adrian Beltre back into the cleanup spot and drop Michael Young into the fifth spot. "It's working," Washington said of the current arrangement. Beltre hit three home runs in Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the Rays but was 6-for-27 (.222) with three doubles and two RBIs in the ALCS. Young hit .250 in the ALCS and was 3-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs in Game 6 against the Tigers.
Harrison likely Rangers' Game 3 starter
ST. LOUIS -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has not announced his starting pitchers for Games 3 or 4 in Arlington on Saturday and Sunday. But it appears likely that the Rangers will move Matt Harrison ahead of Derek Holland to pitch Game 3."I know what I want to do, but I haven't told the pitchers yet," Washington said. Harrison is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance in the postseason. He started Game 4 in the first two rounds and allowed two runs in five innings both outings. He hasn't pitched since last Wednesday. Holland is 1-0 with a 5.27 ERA with three starts and one relief appearance. Both Harrison and Holland are expected to be in the bullpen for Game 1 on Wednesday, although Washington is hoping he won't have to use either one. "I hope C.J. [Wilson] does his thing, then I can bring in [Alexi] Ogando and [Mike] Adams and they can get it to Neftali [Feliz]," Washington said. "That's the way I hope it works. But it doesn't always work out that way."
Aggression on bases Washington's hallmark
ST. LOUIS -- You might say that the Texas Rangers are following Ron Washington's footsteps.Washington has turned the Rangers into an opportunistic ballclub on the basepaths since he became manager in 2007. Since '09, they have ranked second, fifth and fourth in the American League in stolen bases. Modern statistical standards also reflect Texas' ability to get moving. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Rangers ranked fourth in the Major Leagues and second in the AL this season in Equivalent Baserunning Runs, which measures the number of runs contributed by players' baserunning advancement as the sum of various baserunning components. Washington, a former infielder, explained on Wednesday that performing in the organizations of the Kansas City Royals, who initially signed him, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who gave him his first Major League experience, reinforced the importance of speed and mobility on the bases. "When an opportunity presented itself to me to be the manager of a ballclub, I had to put my stamp on it, and my stamp is what I learned through all my years in the game," Washington said. "I was a speed guy. The organizations I was in were speed people, and everywhere I've been in this game, it's been a part of my game." Though it's widely believed that catchers are instrumental in discouraging an opponent's running game, Washington believes that basestealers primarily victimize the pitcher. "Whether it's Johnny Bench or whoever is back there, [St. Louis catcher Yadier] Molina, we're going to run, if the numbers say we can run," Washington said, referring to the timing of a pitcher's delivery. "If the numbers say we can't run, we're not going to run. If the numbers say we can run, we're always going to maximize our lead, and if the numbers say we can run, all he's going to be doing is making good throws."
After being activated, Lowe 'ready to rock'
ST. LOUIS -- With the skies overcast, the field wet and the temperature hovering at 48 degrees, Rangers pitcher Mark Lowe joined the rest of Texas' relievers in doing some stretching, throwing and sprints in the outfield at Busch Stadium before Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night."I'm ready to rock," Lowe said afterward. "I was trying to get the hamstring loose and keep it loose the rest of the night. We'll have a stationary bicycle to ride in the bullpen. Everybody will use it, but it will probably have my name on it." Lowe is active again. After missing the final week of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs because of a strained left hamstring, Lowe was activated for the World Series. This is the second time in as many years that Lowe has been activated for the World Series after missing the first two rounds. This time, the circumstances are totally different. Last year, Lowe missed almost five full months after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The Rangers acquired him from Seattle last July 7 in the Cliff Lee trade, but the reliever didn't pitch for Texas until the final week of the regular season. In a desperate attempt to get ready, Lowe pitched three times in the final week. He then spent the first two rounds of the postseason in Surprise, Ariz., keeping in shape and was activated for the World Series. But he allowed five runs in two brief appearances, proving that he obviously wasn't ready. This year, Lowe pitched all season, going 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 52 games and posting a 2.95 ERA after the All-Star break. He injured his hamstring in the last week of the regular season but was able to keep throwing while going through the rehabilitation process. "Last year, I felt fine," Lowe said. "I felt the back was great, but my arm was probably tired from the quick rehab process. This year, I never lost time throwing. It's totally different this time around. Plus, I have been with this team for seven months. I feel like a big part of this, and that makes a difference."
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has accepted an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Game 3 on Saturday. He led the Mavericks to an NBA title last season and is a big Rangers fan.
The Rangers did not take batting practice outside before Game 1. It rained early in the afternoon before stopping after 4 p.m. CT. But the tarp was still on the field and the temperature was dipping into the 40s. Washington on his team being picked by the majority to win the World Series: "I'm not in the predicting business. I'm into getting between the lines and playing. We've got to go out and play. There are no guarantees." Infielder Michael Young turned 35 on Wednesday. This is the first World Series meeting between an AL West team and an NL Central team since the three-division format came into place in 1994. The AL West has yet to play the NL East.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.