Pierzynski starts Game 3 for Cardinals, Molina possible late-gam - KMOV.com

Pierzynski starts Game 3 for Cardinals, Molina possible late-game replacement

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) — As expected, Yadier Molina will not be in the Cardinal lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS. A.J. Pierzynski will get the start, catching familiar battery mate John Lackey.

“Never an easy call with anybody in our lineup, but A.J. and John Lackey obviously have had a lot of work together, and A.J., though it's been a while, has some history with Hudson,” Mike Matheny said. “So all that goes into play.” 

The manager added he has equal faith in both backups, and will go day-to-day with the decision of who to start behind the plate. 

As for Molina, the team’s medical staff is confident he cannot further injure himself by playing. Instead, his availability will be determined by pain management and how it affects his range of motion. 

“There's a significant injury there, but it's just going to be dealing with the pain and figuring out how he can and if he can do the different movements we need him to make,” Matheny said. “He showed yesterday, and we'll wait until we watch him go out and throw again today, see if anything's changed.  If he can't do it, he won't be used.  But if he can, that's a valuable weapon we have to possibly bring in for defensive purposes late.”

Currently, that is the scope of Molina’s ability to contribute. Matheny said there’s still no scheduled batting practice for the star catcher, adding, “he’s not ready for that.”

Pierzynski last caught in a game September 23, and his last start was September 11. Even with the layoff, the team is confident he can step in smoothly. 

“He was in Cooperstown when we called him to bring him in, and the first day we brought him in, he looked great,” Matheny said, referencing the late-july start Pierzynski made the day after his signing. “He was swinging the bat well, probably as good as we saw him, and also looked good behind the plate. I think 16 years experience has some carry-over effect.”

Lineups

Cardinals

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Jon Jay, CF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Matt Adams, 1B

5. Jhonny Peralta, SS

6. Kolten Wong, 2B

7. A.J. Pierzynski, C

8. Randal Grichuk, RF

9. John Lackey, P

Giants

1. Gregor Blanco, CF

2. Joe Panik, 2B

3. Buster Posey, C

4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Brandon Belt, 1B

7. Travis Ishikawa, LF

8. Brandon Crawford, SS

9. Tim Hudson, P

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