ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals are short on lefties in Friday’s lineup, bringing only Matt Carpenter to the plate from the other side.
This primarily has to do with opposing pitcher Jorge De La Rosa being a nightmare for southpaws.
On the season, the Rockies starter has held left-handed hitters to a .187 average while striking out 3.3 lefties to every one he walks. Compare that to a .259 right-handed average and a K/BB ratio of 1.8, and it’s not hard to see why Randal Grichuk, Peter Bourjos and Xavier Scruggs are starting.
Bourjos and Grichuk have impressed of late, with the former hitting .429 so far in September, and the rookie going 6 for his last 10.
“We’re excited to get Bourjos in there, he’s done a nice job and Randal Grichuk in some opportunities off the bench,” Matheny said. “Getting Adams a day every once in awhile, especially against the lefties, isn’t a bad idea.”
Big City is struggling against lefties, hitting .191 with an on base percentage of just .229. To highlight the difference, his line against righties is .320/.347/.515.
Scruggs will start his second major league game in Adams’ place, coming off a season in Triple-A that saw him hit .286 and launch 21 homers. Better yet, he hits .348 and slugs .611 against lefties.
“I’ve seen him through our system,” Matheny said. “He’s a guy that when he gets hot he’s able to carry a team offensively. Just trying to get him to that point.”
The final righty replacement is Mark Ellis, who will it eighth and play second base in place of Kolten Wong. Ellis hasn’t gotten much work for the Cardinals this year, but does hit lefties well, posting a .272 average. More than half of his 105 home runs have come off southpaws, despite having roughly one third as many at bats against them compared to right-handers.
Unfortunately for him, the last lefty he faced was Aroldis Chapman.
“Yeah that’s a pretty tough assignment,” Matheny laughed Friday.
Ellis had only one at bat since August 14 before he was tapped Tuesday in Cincinnati to pinch hit against the Reds closer. He would end up with three plate appearances in the series, all against Chapman.
“He’s doing all the work, all the things we hoped he’d do,” Matheny said of his veteran. “This is the kind of situation that we got him for.”
1)Matt Carpenter 3B
2) Randal Grichuk RF
3) Matt Holliday LF
4) Jhonny Peralta SS
5) Yadier Molina C
6) Xavier Scruggs 1B
7) Peter Bourjos CF
8) Mark Ellis 2B
9) Adam Wainwright P