The St. Louis Cardinals lineup changes more than a fan’s lucky hat, and it has not been helping them win games in this World Series. Without a diverse bench there are limited options for the Birds on the bat.
True sophomore manager Mike Matheny is stuck with the responsibility of strategically placing each player in the most effective sequence. Because two of the most vicious hitters (Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig) in the STL lineup are dinged up, MM’s task is especially grueling but still easy to second guess.
Last night’s lineup with 87% Los on the right side cleaning up was proven to be wasteful. Hopefully, unlike pitching changes, the Saint Louis skipper will learn from his mistake and have Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Yadier Molina or even Matt Holliday batt in the heavy four spot.
But Beltran is on his left side tomorrow, and the right field porch with its dwarf-wall is awful close.
Along with lefty Big City getting at bats tomorrow, hopefully lefties Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay will rediscover a bit of their 2011, 2012, 2013 magic that contributed to all four (Philly, Texas, DC, Pitt) resurgences.
No matter their order of appearance, the Birdinals’ offense needs to start producing. Matheny’s lack of experience will not lose the series for St. Louis, but only scoring a run or two in 9 innings will.
Another potential achilles for the Redbirds might be the superhero wearing David Ortiz‘s uniform. Today, Michael Wacha wouldn’t reveal his Papi-plan to the media which is nauseating since pitching to him is absolutely insane. However, if anyone can do it tomorrow night at Fenway it is Mr. Wacha.
Betting against the streak can be smart, and eventually Papi might cool down, but when the greatest designated hitter ever is locked in like Maverick, it is best to welcome him aboard. One thing Ortiz proved in STL is that he has a good glove and is quick enough which makes him appear to be a more complete ball player than before. However, the only thing that the Cards proved in STL is that they have been playing poorly.
This series has been odd and ugly for St. Louis, but it is far from over. Wait until the Comeback Cardinals give it one last stroke in Massachusetts. Anything can happen, as it has before.
With the right order, continued scorching pitches, clutch hitting borrowed from the regular season, mixed with a few strategic intentional walks, there could be a parade in front of Busch to make Stan The Man smile.
Manager Demerath’s Lineup
3 . Matt Holliday
4. Matt Adams
6. Allen Craig
7. David Freese
8. Jon Jay