For the second year in a row, the Cardinals will turn to Adam Wainwright in a decisive NLDS Game 5. Last year, they escaped with a win, but it was with no help from their ace.
Wainwright was tagged for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS last year, and with Cy Young contender Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the Nats, things seemed bleak. The Cards offense, though, managed to score three times off Gonzalez in the fourth and fifth innings and then add six runs off the Nationals bullpen — including four in the ninth coming against Drew Storen — in a 9-7 win.
That’s the only bad outing Wainwright has had in five starts and nine relief appearances in the postseason. Including his Game 1 win against the Pirates, he’s allowed a total of four runs in his other 37 1/3 innings of work. The Cardinals will be counting on similar success if they’re going to make it back to the NLCS this year.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.