ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- The sting of defeat has not escaped Cardinals' Manager Mike Matheny. With an upcoming rematch of the 2012 NLCS, Matheny and the Cardinals seem ready to avoid a repetition of a series in which they blew a 3-1 lead in the series and scored just 3 runs in the final three games.
"It's one of those you never forget. Excited about an opportunity to have a different outcome," said Matheny during Thursday's press conference.
That outcome may depend on the health of ace Adam Wainwright, who admitted to arm fatigue earlier in the season and struggled during his lone NLCS start. Reports surfaced of a possible elbow injury for Wainwright, but Matheny says that's not the case.
"He's fine. We'll just watch him close like we watch everybody else and take it from there," said Matheny.
Given his last start, Wainwright could be in line for a quick hook, something that would give last season's postseason hero, Michael Wacha, a chance to make his 2014 playoff debut. Matheny, however, said that some roster moves may be made Friday and revealed the same rotation that the Cardinals used for the NLDS.
With Wacha not making an appearance against the Dodgers, it's possible that he could be left off the NLCS roster to make room for an additional reliever or position player.
Possible changes could include additions of veterans A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Ellis to give the Cardinals more bench depth, or the replacement of Wacha in the pen by Kevin Siegrist or Jason Motte, although a move in the pen is unlikely due to the struggles of Siegrist and Motte in pressure situations this season.
A lack of power and short bench may be the least of Matheny's worries. The Giants are expected to add to their depth with outfielder Michael Morse, whose been out since early September with an oblique injury. The addition will give Giants' manager Bruce Bochy another tool on a team that had little trouble disposing of the Washington Nationals in their NLDS matchup.
Matheny and Bochy have lead their teams to the World Series in each of the last four seasons, and Matheny admits he's had no problem trying to gain edge from the Giants manager.
"I've tried to pick his brain over the years and he's been accommodating," said Matheny.
That accommodation may be a contributing factor in Matheny's success, but the Cardinals' manager will need to be a step in front of Bochy if the Cardinals are going to advance to the World Series.