Matheny shakes up lineup for matchup with Liriano
Posted on October 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM
(BaseballStL) -- Pirates ace Francisco Liriano has been like kryptonite to the Cardinals in 2013. No one has frustrated the Cards bats more. This season the lefty gave up just two runs on ten hits to them in 24 innings to go along with a ridiculous .127 opponents batting average. That's a 0.75 ERA fort those scoring at home.
So to counter that - and account for the fact Liriano is left-handed - manager Mike Matheny is changing up his lineup a touch.
First baseman Matt Adams, who had been hitting 4th for the last couple weeks, drops down to 6th. Center fielder Jon Jay drops a spot as well to 7th. Catcher Yadier Molina and third baseman David Freese, on the other hand, jump up to 4th and 5th, respectively.
The shortstop is also going to be righty Pete Kozma, not lefty Daniel Descalso.
Are these moves directly related to the fact Liriano is so tough this season against lefties (.131 average compared to a .249 versus righties)?
"Yes, both of them are," Matheny explained. "It's a situation for us to try and put some guys in there who haven't seen them and also get some right-handers in the top of our lineup."
How about Liriano's dominance over the Cardinals? Do you throw history out the window in a playoff game or account for it with decision making?
"I don't think you disregard it," Matheny said. "I think it goes into the equation as you make your decisions and you try to take all the information that you have. That's what we've got. Now does that translate into production one way or the other? No. We all know that. But we still have to take the information that you do have. And, hopefully, on the good side it continues. And, hopefully, we can make adjustments to change the other."
The Cardinals need this to work since the loser of Sunday's Game 3 in Pittsburgh will face elimination Monday in Game 4.