Lineups for Game 5 at Busch Stadium …
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B David Ortiz
LF Jonny Gomes
RF Daniel Nava
3B Xander Bogaerts
SS Stephen Drew
C David Ross
SP Jon Lester
Shane Victorino is out of the lineup again with a back injury, so Daniel Nava replaces him in right field and Jonny Gomes plays left field while batting cleanup versus a right-handed pitcher. As expected David Ortiz remains at first base and David Ross gets the nod behind the plate over Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2B Matt Carpenter
CF Shane Robinson
LF Matt Holliday
RF Carlos Beltran
C Yadier Molina
1B Allen Craig
3B David Freese
SS Pete Kozma
SP Adam Wainwright
UPDATE: Allen Craig initially was not in the lineup, but the Cardinals made a last-minute change to insert him at first base and in the sixth spot instead of Matt Adams. It’ll be interesting to see just how hobbled he is, because it couldn’t have looked good as of just a few hours ago.
Shane Robinson again replaces Jon Jay versus a left-hander and moves up in the order to the No. 2 spot, with Carlos Beltran sliding into a middle-of-the-order role as Matheny shakes things up.
Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.
Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.
Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.
Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.
Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.