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Game 5 Open Thread: Astros at Cardinals

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Hampton Pineiro
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This just in: Joel Pineiro is really happy about something. Mike Hampton is kind of bemused about it.

Pineiro/Hampton tonight; according to the first rule of game-shape unpredictability, this one is destined to be a tense, brief pitcher's duel, which—should it happen—might be the most frustrated some of these hitters ever get.

The lineup:

1. Skip Schumaker
2. Khalil Greene
3. Albert Pujols
4. Ryan Ludwick
5. Chris Duncan
6. Yadier Molina
7. Rick Ankiel
8. David Freese
9. Joel Pineiro

It's a small sample size, but Schumaker's lefty split to this point is as bad as you'll ever see. If you haven't looked before:

HAND PA AVG OBP SLG
RIGHT 698 .322 .369 .448
LEFT 176 .200 .275 .213

That's so awful it almost has to be a sample size issue—that .013 ISO is generated by two doubles, and he's got as many strikeouts as singles. But since Schumaker is, at the very top of our expectations, a borderline-passable second baseman, and since the sample we've got is so terrible, I can't understand this move at all. Duncan's line against lefties is similarly terrible, but for some reason it has been the received wisdom in St. Louis that Duncan just needs to see more lefties to learn to hit them. Rasmus isn't a perfect solution, but he's the one that's on the roster.