It's official: The St. Louis Cardinals are still big Joe Kelly fans. Despite an NLCS performance in which the baserunner dam finally appeared to burst, Joe Kelly will return to Busch Stadium the Game 3 starter, tasked with stewarding The Momentum and settling the stomachs of 50,000 extremely nervous baseball fans.
It's hard to feel too surprised about the move, given the options the Cardinals have convinced themselves they have, but it remains worth mentioning that this is the third series in a row that the Cardinals have both included Shelby Miller on the postseason roster and made it seem like he is able to pitch under no possible circumstances.
If this were Tony La Russa I'd probably think he was trying to deke somebody. Since it isn't, I'm just confused—is Miller part of an aggressive relief plan that Matheny just hasn't enacted yet? Is he a long reliever so mixed up that Game 1 didn't seem like the right opportunity? Is he a hedge against somebody proving unable to go on short rest?
I realize he's fatigued, and young, and potentially not ready to make another start without a few months off. But he's also on the roster. I hear Jaime Garcia is throwing, too; at least he could have been another LOOGY.