(BaseballStL) – For Game 2 of the NLCS, Mike Matheny has opted to shuffle around the top and bottom of his line-up, but the players comprising the order have not changed.
“It’s basically the line-up we’ve seen all season long,” Matheny said, “And obviously from the at-bats Jon Jay’s taken, he deserves to be up there in the line-up. He’s just in a good spot right now.”
Jay moves up to the second spot while Kolten Wong moves to the seven spot and Randal Grichuk drops down to hit eighth. Jay, who spent 29 regular season games hitting second, is hitting .538 in five postseason games. He has recorded at least one hit in every postseason game expect Game 4 of the NLDS against Clayton Kershaw.
On the other hand, Grichuk has struggled since hitting a home run off Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS. Since that game, the Cardinal right fielder has only two hits in 12 ABs. However, instead of inserting lefty Oscar Taveras against the Giants’ right-handed starter, Matheny said Grichuk’s defense keeps him in the line-up.
“We’re not really at that point of needing to shake things up,” Matheny continued, “So we’re sticking with what we used right down the stretch and defense is a big part of that. Randal almost made a catch yesterday that could have completely changed that game.”
Matheny also flipped around Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams, putting Adams in the clean-up position.
Peavy returns to St. Louis for first time since 2013 World Series
It’s hard to forget what happened at the end of Game 2 of the 2013 World Series. Allen Craig scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after the umpires called obstruction on Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. What you may not remember is Jake Peavy started that game.
He lasted only four innings and gave up two runs in the first inning, and he’s familiar with how lethal the Cardinals line-up can be.
“I’ve been through this line-up, seen more of [Matt] Carpenter’s at-bats than I probably want to see,” the 33-year-old right-hander joked, “This team is a bunch of grinders. I mean, you saw the way they grind out at-bats against Zack Greinke, against Kershaw and what they were able to do as a group. [They] try to hand it to the next guy and just wear you down.”
The Cardinals will try to slow Peavy down as they attempt to even the series. Peavy has gone 5-0 in his last seven starts dating back to August 30 with an opposing hitter’s average of .183 and the Giants have won all seven of those starts. But facing off against Lance Lynn, Peavy has a great deal of respect for the fellow righty.
“I expect to help my ballclub beat the St. Louis Cardinals, and we’re going to have our hands full with Lance Lynn, that’s for sure,” Peavy added, “He’s a special, special arm. He’s been in these situations before. That experience, I’m sure he’s going to give us all we can handle.”
Matt Carpenter 3B
Jon Jay CF
Matt Holliday LF
Matt Adams 1B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Yadier Molina C
Kolten Wong 2B
Randal Grichuk RF
Lance Lynn RHP
Gregor Blanco CF
Joe Panik 2B
Buster Posey C
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Hunter Pence RF
Brandon Belt 1B
Brandon Crawford SS
Travis Ishikawa LF
Jake Peavy RHP