Grichuk back up in the order in critical Game 3 -

Grichuk back up in the order in critical Game 3

ST. LOUIS — With a crucial Game 3 kicking off action in the Gateway City, Randal Grichuk will return to the second spot in the order against lefty Hyin-Jin Ryu. 

The rookie outfielder sent a jolt through Game 1 early with a homer of Clayton Kershaw, and despite an 0-for-4 night against Zack Greinke, the big-swinging prospect will get the nod for the slot behind Matt Carpenter. 

Read: Grichuk continues rise from prospect to household name down stretch run

“You typically think of that No. 2 guy as being an on-base guy and somebody that's going to move guys around,” Mike Matheny said, noting Grichuk’s skill set is an unconventional fit for the role. “Really what happened was we got into a spot where we weren't necessarily happy about it going left, left against a lefty. Randal stepped up and had some pretty good numbers against left-handed pitching and gave him an opportunity and he responded well.”

Last season, Carlos Beltran manned the second spot in the order. His power was crucial early in the lineup, and with Carpenter’s ability to get on base, Matheny hopes Grichuk can fill a similar need. 

“Not that much unlike what we had last year with Carlos. Carlos came in as a big bat opportunity every time he got in the box to do something big. I think Randal has that potential now and in the future,” he said. 

The Cardinals don’t have tons of experience against Ryu, having only a handful of at bats against him over the last couple of years. No one had more than six, so looking at raw splits won’t help much with a game plan. Because of this, Matheny and his staff will maintain their season-long approach. 

“We look at the splits.  We look at the tendencies.  We look at the previous at-bats.  We look at the history and try to make a decision that we feel good about, once we take into account how the guys are swinging at any particular time or how they're playing defensively,” he said. “So it's worked all right for us up to this point, no reason to start trying to get tricky. We've got a mainstay as far as our lineup goes of guys that we know are going to be in certain spots and we've been tinkering around with those other spots all season long. And if we need it we will continue to do so.”


1) Matt Carpenter 3B

2) Randal Grichuk RF

3) Matt Holliday LF

4) Jhonny Peralta SS

5) Matt Adams 1B

6) Yadier Molina C

7) Jon Jay CF

8) Kolten Wong 2B

9) John Lackey P


1) Dee Gordon 2B

2) Yasiel Puig CF

3) Adrian Gonzalez 1B

4) Matt Kemp RF 

5) Hanley Ramirez SS

6) Carl Crawford LF

7) Juan Uribe 3B

8) A.J. Ellis C

9) Hyun-Jin Ryu P

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