The St. Louis Cardinals released the team's starting lineup for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants. It's a bit different from NLCS Game 2's lineup, which isn't all that surprising given the injury to Yadier Molina has ended the catcher's streak of 83 consecutive postseason games caught for the Cardinals. Matheny has selected an Animal House battery for Game 3: salty bulldog John Lackey will be throwing to A.J. Pierzynski in a reunion of opening-day Red Sox. Expect a few F-bombs.
The complete lineup, according to the Cardinals official Twitter feed, is as follows:
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
Predictably, Grichuk is in the lineup over Peter Bourjos or Oscar Taveras. This even though Grichuk has never played right field in AT&T Park, with its unique right-field wall and singular right-center field gap, and the platoon splits Grichuk and Giants starter Tim Hudson have shown in 2014. VEB editor Craig Edwards was all over Matheny's right-field decision on Twitter:
Between AAA and MLB in 2014 Grichuk got 391 PAs against righties, hitting only .235/.289/.396. Either Bourjos or Taveras would be preferable— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) October 14, 2014
Earlier today, VEB editor Eric Johnson broke down Hudson and how the Cards might attack him in Game 3. Using lefthanded batsmen, who have hit as well against Hudson in 2014 as Matt Holliday has hit against all pitchers, was one of his suggestions. Hudson's platoon split this season has been striking. Lefthanded batters hit .276/.327/.428 (.331 wOBA) to righthanded hitters' .256/.283/.384 (.292 wOBA).
It is what it is.
Correction: The original version of this post flip-flopped Hudson's 2014 platoon splits. It has been corrected.