St. Louis Cardinals Lineup Change Pays Off

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Admit it. You saw the lineup that had Jon Jay at the top of the order and scratched your head too.

This is why, as St. Louis Cardinals fans and bloggers, we don’t manage.

Jay’s hitting, and the usual spectacular pitching of Michael Wacha, guided the Cardinals to an 11-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

The pesky Chicago Cubs rang up a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, so the Cardinals remain one game ahead of Chicago in the National League Central standings.

Let’s take a look at the highlights from Busch:

*It was apparent from the get-go that a dose of Wacha was what the Cardinals needed. Forget Adam Wainwright for a second. If Wacha were to go down once again, that might be as big a blow to St. Louis as losing Wainwright.

Wacha improved to 4-0 overall as he walked two and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings of work. He even drove in a pair of runs, which is further proof that the team may have just needed one big spark.

*Jay was 2-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs himself, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a big boost at the plate. Matheny moved Matt Carpenter out of the leadoff spot, even though he was doing very well at it, to shake things up a bit. General manager John Mozeliak has been a big fan of Jay all along, and if the team is trying to consolidate its power down the order a bit, then that might be the best thing.

*If your name was Matt, chances are it was a good night. Both Carpenter and Matt Adams had three hits in the victory, and Adams improved his batting average to .267.

Adams has improved somewhat following a lackluster start at the plate, so it’s always good to see him warming up the bat as May approaches.

All in all, the St. Louis Cardinals needed a game like this. A loss to the Phillies in the first game of the series, combined with a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in the last game of that set, put the Cardinals on the defensive.

The four-game set continues Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. in a nationally-televised contest.

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