(Busch Stadium) As expected, Mike Shildt has changed up the St. Louis Cardinals lineup for Game 3 of the National League Division Series as Matt Carpenter will get the start at third base and Tommy Edman will do so in right field.
This will be Carpenter’s first start of the 2019 playoffs, but he delivered a key eighth inning, pinch-hit single to tie the game 3-3 in Game 1. Along with a big home run against Chicago, the last few weeks have seen a resurgence for Carpenter at the plate as he hit .288 (15-52) with a .397 OBP in September.
“Just getting back to who he is, his anchor of what makes him successful,” Shildt said. “I like the fact he’s been aggressive, you’ve seen really assertive swings, but you’ve also seen him take those swings in the zone. Seeing the ball really well. I think he’s on time with his eyes and his body. He’s seeing the ball good, his takes have been really good and then he’s getting a ball he can put a swing on and he’s being convicted.”
Atlanta starter Mike Soroka has been particularly difficult for right-handed hitters this season (.203), which contributed to the opportunity for Carpenter to get the start at third as the switch-hitting Edman will move to right and Dexter Fowler starts in place of Harrison Bader in center.
Carpenter has hit safely in his last four post season games (5-15). Seven of his career 11 hits in the NLDS have gone for extra bases.
“He’s driving the ball regardless of where it is,” Shildt continued. “He’s driven the ball out into left center a couple of times and then he’s been able to pull the ball. Anytime a guy’s driving the ball the opposite way into the gap it’s usually a good sign. He’s in a good place.”
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) October 6, 2019
photo credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports