Blog Entry

For the Rangers, it's the lucky seventh spot

Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:36 am
ST. LOUIS -- Ron Washington finally moved Nelson Cruz out of the seventh spot in the Rangers' batting order.

He moved Cruz up to sixth. He moved Mike Napoli down to seventh.

Naturally, in Game 1 of the World Series, Napoli homered to give the Rangers their only two runs in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals.

Of course.

You want to hit home runs? Bat seventh for the Rangers.

You want a guy to hit a home run? Bat him seventh.

Cruz hit a record six home runs against the Tigers, all from the seventh spot. Napoli bats seventh one game, and he homers, too.

So the Rangers have seven homers from the seventh spot, in just 11 postseason games.

The Royals had six home runs from the seventh spot all season -- in 162 games. The Rays and Giants only had seven apiece.

Washington said Wednesday afternoon that he plans to bat Cruz sixth throughout the World Series. He resisted the move during the ALCS, but said he's making it now because Cruz is so hot and needs more protection in the lineup.

"Now that he's found his stroke and we're in the World Series, I just feel I need to protect him," Washington said. "Mike Napoli is great protection."

And when Mike Napoli -- or any other Ranger -- hits seventh, that really is great protection.

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