Mark McGwire respects Rangers lineup

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire admits he doesn't know much about the Rangers' lineup since the clubs haven't played each other in so long.

But he's seen enough of the Rangers' highlights and some games on TV to know how that the club can score runs in a hurry, not unlike the Cardinals. He also can see the Rangers have versatility.

"They have really good hitters, lots of power and they've got speed," McGwire said. "What I really like is that they run the bases. They'll take first to third. They'll go first to home. I know defensively we have to be ready for that. They seem to be very disciplined and they've had experience here.

"It's the second year in a row they've been here and when you have experience like that, it's sort of scary because they're ready and they know what to expect."

McGwire has helped instill a belief in his hitters that they can score runs of any pitcher. And St. Louis certainly put up some offense this season. Like the Rangers, they were at or near the lead in the key offensive categories. St. Louis led the NL in runs scored (4.7 per game), average (.273) on-base percentage (.341) and slugging (.425). The Rangers were third in the AL in runs (5.27 per game), first in average (.283), second in home runs (210) and second in slugging (.460).

"I think it's going to be a great show," McGwire said.