Daniel Descalso makes a rare start for the St. Louis Cardinals this season as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second of a three game series at Busch Stadium.
“You have some tough numbers with Jhonny and McCarthy which opened the door,” explained Manager Mike Matheny. “Dan’s had a couple of good at-bats. He’s a big part of this club and we’ve got to get him some playing time to keep him sharp.”
Peralta homered yesterday and has reached base in 19 straight games, but in his career, is just 1-21 against Diamondback’s starter Brandon McCarthy.
“Jhonny’s aware of it—all our guys are aware of how they’ve done against some of these guys in the past,” said Matheny. “You see Jhonny have a real good day yesterday against a guy he didn’t have real good numbers on—you could try and push that again and say well maybe he’ll beat the odds of what history shows us. Or we say, that was a great day to build on, give him a day here with a guy that we know he’s had trouble with.
I think even more importantly, we’ve got to keep guys like Dan Descalso sharp. We’ve got to keep them engaged. We’ve got to keep them feeling like they’re a big part of this team, which they are. Only way we’re going to be able to do that is to find some starts. We have no problem throwing them late in the game for a big at-bat or throwing them late in the game for defense, a player like that also deserves to have a full game.”
Descalso last started on May 6th, but has five plate appearances since then. Also factoring into the decision is the Cardinals winning five of their last six games. Though still not where they want to be, with the team playing better it allows the manager to make some moves not to find a spark, but sustain one.
“We’ve had a good little run here, but I think we’re still defining ourselves and our identity as a club,” said Matheny. “I think what we’ve seen here lately looks a whole lot more palatable to as compared to what we’ve seen for the bulk of this season. Guys are going about it the right way, I’ll say it again. It just hasn’t all clicked. I think we’re seeing more of those components come together, which does make it easier to try and maybe give Jhonny a day against a guy that he’s had a hard time with that maybe a day like today could set him backwards. Give him a day and hard to say what happens tomorrow. But the side benefit definitely is getting some of these other guys opportunities. We’ve been bouncing it around for a while; it would be nice to have a consistent group go out there, but even when we do have that, have to play the other guys as well.”
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Kolten Wong, 2B
Matt Holliday, LF
Matt Adams, 1B
Yadier Molina, C
Allen Craig, RF
Peter Bourjos, CF
Daniel Descalso, SS
Michael Wacha, P
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports