(Busch Stadium) As the St. Louis Cardinals look to end their season-high five game losing streak, manager Mike Shildt has penciled in the following lineup:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Tommy Edman
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
SS Paul DeJong
3B Matt Carpenter
2B Kolten Wong
C Matt Wieters
P Dakota Hudson
With the exception of Hudson, this is the same lineup St. Louis had on Wednesday to close out their road trip in Los Angeles.
“Yeah, him and Eddie have both been good leading off,” Shildt said of Fowler batting first. “We’re putting him at that top, like what we’re seeing with the at-bats. It is somewhat fluid, would like to have that consistency of what we mentioned with the offense, but those guys are at the top and give us good at-bats. That’s all you can really ask.”
Fowler had a hit on Thursday and has four in the last three games, which is the longest active streak currently on the team. However, with the Cardinals having scored just seven runs in their last five games and looking for more offense, it raises the question of moving up Kolten Wong in the lineup.
The Cardinals second baseman ranks second in the National League with a .352 (31-88) batting average since July 1st and has a .426 OBP during that same stretch.
“Yeah, we’ve given it consideration, for sure,” Shildt said. “The guys that are at the top of the lineup have actually been commiserate as well. Kolten’s in a good spot. We talked in LA about that very topic. It’s a great question and I understand it completely. We just want to make sure we have some length in our lineup. Yeah, we want to turn it over and have guys at the top that will maybe get that extra at-bat, but Kolten’s been in a really good spot where he’s at and contributed to having that length. Can’t rule out that he won’t be closer to the top, but the reality is, he’s been in a good spot.”
In his limited opportunities, outfielder Lane Thomas has hit .375 (6-16) with a pair of home runs and five runs driven in. But with the Cardinals facing right-hander Chris Archer tonight, the decision was to play the switch-hitting Edman in right field.
“Yeah, it’s more about the match-ups we play,” Shildt explained. “Listen, Lane’s done a nice job to your point and is deserving of a few more opportunities. Gotta imagine more opportunities are going to come his way. But we also look up and it’s kind of a fluid spot we have right now. Tommy’s giving us good at-bats, he’s been a big part of what we’ve done. We count on him to have good at-bats. He also switch-hits so that helps, the last couple times he’s been able to get out there it’s because we faced guys we’d like to have another lefty in the lineup.”
Thomas has five hits and one of his homers against right-handers, while Edman has hit higher against lefties (.258) than righties (.238) this season.
“If you look at the at-bats he’s taken here, he’s been pretty representative from the left side,” Shildt said. “You’ve got tough righties and you’ve got a lefty that is confident and playing well, you’d want the lefty in there who’s confident and playing well versus putting a guy in there against a tough righty, that’s not as good against righties.”
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