NLCS Game 5: Starting Lineup

Looking around at the St. Louis Cardinals, one would not sense they are only one loss away from having their season come to an end.

“No, we’ve got that same awful music blaring in there right now,” smiled Manager Mike Matheny on any difference to the mood of his team.

“Last night, that was a rough one,” added Matheny. “It was a wild, crazy, crazy game. We had some opportunities to make it go a little different, but one thing I can say about this club–which any team that’s still involved right now, they have done the same thing, they have let those ones go and they figure out what they have to do for the one that comes up next.

“That’s what I see today–like yesterday never happened and today is the ‘biggest game of the year’.”

Matheny has moved Randal Grichuk up in the order, but most of the lineup remains intact–with Tony Cruz getting the start against left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

CARDS

Matt Carpenter, 3B

Jon Jay, CF

Matt Holliday, LF

Jhonny Peralta, SS

Matt Adams, 1B

Randal Grichuk, RF

Kolten Wong, 2B

Tony Cruz, C

Adam Wainwright, P

GIANTS

Gregor Blanco, CF

Joe Panik, 2B

Buster Posey, C

Pablo Sandoval, 3B

Hunter Pence, RF

Brandon Belt, 1B

Travis Ishikawa, LF

Brandon Crawford, SS

Madison Bumgarner, P

LYNN AND LACKEY AVAILABLE

–As would be expected, both Lance Lynn and John Lackey are available out of the bullpen tonight if necessary. “Yeah, we’d probably lean towards, most likely, Lynn,” confirmed Matheny. “Probably late, more so than anything else”.

MOLINA  IS GLOVE IN WAITING

–Last night, after Game 4, Mike Matheny confirmed had the Cardinals tied the game Yadier Molina would’ve come in to catch the extra innings. Today, he expanded upon that–noting Molina would have also come into Game 3 with Trevor Rosenthal had the team rallied.

“Look to do it again tonight,” said Matheny, who explained the offensive approach Molina would employ. “If there was an opportunity to bunt, use him as a pitcher–even a one-out, man on first put the bunt down. Or he would have gone up with instructions not to swing.”

Molina lobbied to be in the lineup today, but he remains unable to swing the bat–even with medical assistance. “It was a pretty valiant effort,” said Matheny of the catcher’s efforts to talk his way into playing. “I looked for one of those leagues for a long time where you didn’t have to hit, haven’t been able to find it. Just not gonna work right yet.”

photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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