With the way Craig has been hitting this season, I am honestly perplexed as to why this decision was not made sooner. Is it some sense of loyalty that Matheny has to veteran players? I’m not exactly sure. What I do know is this: Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, and Jhonny Peralta are hitting in the 3, 4, and 5 spots in tonight’s lineup. Matt Carpenter leads off while Oscar Taveras is batting second while Yadier Molina is hitting sixth. Last night’s hero, Kolten Wong, is hitting eighth before the pitcher’s spot. Personally, I would flip Peralta and Molina but that’s just me.
If Big City is not hitting third in the order, he needs to be hitting cleanup. Just look at the numbers of late. Craig hasn’t done much with the cleanup spot in the order as he is hitting .245/.288/.318 in the four-hole this season. This is the first time in the 2014 season in which Craig is hitting in the seven-hole. He had hit sixth in 20 games but has done poorly in that spot, too.
Big City has fared better than Craig in hitting in the cleanup spot as his numbers are .310/.324/.462 this season.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports intern Joe Trezza:
“What do we gotta do to win tonight?” is the question Matheny asked himself. “That’s what I keep coming back to.”
Nobody wants to see any members of the Cardinals struggling to hit but it is what it is.