(BaseballStL) -- Cardinals starting pitcher Marco Gonzalez will get his first taste of Busch Stadium as he makes his first start in St. Louis Sunday against the Miami Marlins.
Gonzales hasn't pitched longer than 5.0 innings in either of his previous two starts, throwing 82 and 84 pitches. But in both starts, the Rockies and the Giants scored in the fourth innings - which was the second time hitters faced Gonzales.
"First time through, it's real good," echoed manager Mike Matheny, "Guys are trying to figure out how to make adjustments. That's what good hitters do."
Matheny said Gonzales needs to take a page out of Adam Wainwright's book, rely on catcher Yadier Molina and to make better adjustments.
"He has to understand, when Yadi gives a certain pitch, a certain spot," he said, "remember what they guy did. [Wainwright] knows that he got a guy out fastball away and [the batter] might be looking for it, so you move it out a hair more. You don't make the same pitch."
Gonzales hasn't given up just one run the second time through the line-up, both of those fourth innings in his previous two starts have produced crooked numbers, 5 in Colorado and 3 in San Francisco.
"It comes down to the concentration and the execution," Matheny preached, "Marco has got into those innings where it starts to snowball and he's making pitches in the middle of the plate and the guys are making him pay."
Holliday's success in two spot
Matheny has spent the majority of the season trying to fit some puzzle piece into the second spot of the line-up, filling a void still left by Carlos Beltran. Eleven different players have tried out the spot in the line-up. And most recently Matt Holliday has found some success in the spot.
He's spent 12 games in the number two spot and has reached base safely in 9 of those games.
"That's why he's had the kind of year he has. He's great getting on base," Matheny said, "But he's not taking his at-bats differently if he were in the second, third or fourth [spot]."