NLDS Game 4

(Busch Stadium) Officially, it wasn’t until this morning that the Atlanta Braves announced Dallas Keuchel as their starter for today’s Game 4. However, like most, Mike Shildt and the St. Louis Cardinals expected the left-hander to take the mound.

“No, we set the lineup,” Shildt said. “We had a pretty good sense of what was going on regardless of who they were going to start, what our lineup will look like.”

With the exception of starter Dakota Hudson, the Cardinals will go with the same lineup this afternoon as they did in yesterday’s Game 3:

CF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
C Yadier Molina
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Tommy Edman
SS Paul DeJong
P Dakota Hudson

“We’ll continue to take our approach, be convicted with it, and we’ve got to do a better job of taking good swings on the balls that are out over the plate,” Shildt said.

St. Louis will also look to be aggressive on the base paths, despite a concentrated effort by Atlanta to mix up their pick-offs and run game.

“We’ve got to get runners on, we want the opportunities,” Shildt said. “Alluding to the inside move with Bader yesterday, we were able to grab the first bag off Keuchel the other day with Harrison. That led to a run that ended up being a big run.

“It is a big part of our game. Chicago, towards the end of the year was very much more intentional of picking, inside move — double, triple picking. So, yeah, we’re aware of that. We still pick our spots.

“That was O’Day’s first inside move of the year. So the one thing I appreciate about competition is when you get your opponent to do something they don’t want to do or to counteract what you’re trying to do, you’re typically winning in that competition.

“So while we may not be able to take a bag, not saying we won’t, but we’ve also — we didn’t run as much in the Chicago series either. But what you noticed, we didn’t run as much in the Arizona series because, again, a lot of picks. But there’s a residual benefit to that.

“How many balls have been down the right-field line because people are having to pick over and over? Five. So those are extra bases. There’s also the mental distraction that comes with having to throw over or inside move or worried about runners that can and typically can lead to a lack of execution with a displaced concentration with a pitch to the plate.

“So, we still see residual benefit. And to your question, we haven’t run blindly all year. We led the league in stolen bases tied with Washington, and a high percentage, one of the highest in organizational history.

“So we’ll still be smart about it like we have been all year and use it as a weapon a couple different ways. We’ve got to get guys on.”

JACK FOR GAME 5

–While it remains to be seen if the Cardinals can force a Game 5 in this NLDS, there is no question who will take the mound for them in that decisive game.

“Jack, I think it’s pretty clear,” Shildt said. “I look forward to it.”

The starter of Game 2, Flaherty threw 117 pitches in 7.0 innings in the 3-1 loss.

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