Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal has struggled this postseason, allowing 10 of the 21 batters he faced to reach base, but not surprisingly manager Mike Matheny is sticking with the 24-year-old right-hander in the ninth-inning role.
Here’s what Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
He’s still our closer. Hopefully we have a lead late in the game and can go to him again. The people who have watched our club closely this season realize that [Game 2] was not that uncommon to what we’ve seen this year and still Trevor was right at the top of the list of closers in the [NL]. He finds a way to get it done.
“He finds a way to get it done” is a common refrain for closers right up until the time they stop finding that way, but Rosenthal converted 45 of 51 save chances during the regular season and allowed just one run in his final 11 appearances. Of course, he also walked 42 batters in 70 innings and his control was the problem in Game 2, leading to Matheny removing him from the game mid-inning.
If nothing else, Rosenthal figures to have a shorter leash for a while and Matheny may be a little quicker to have another reliever warming up in the bullpen during his appearances.
Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Cardinals-Giants series in San Francisco:
3B Matt Carpenter
CF Jon Jay
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
SS Jhonny Peralta
C A.J. Pierzynski
2B Kolten Wong
RF Randal Grichuk
SP John Lackey
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was forced to make some changes due to Yadier Molina’s injury and (as discussed in this space yesterday) he’s decided on A.J. Pierzynski instead of longtime backup Tony Cruz behind the plate. Pierzynski bats sixth, which was Molina’s usual spot.
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
LF Travis Ishikawa
SS Brandon Crawford
SP Tim Hudson
Giants manager Bruce Bochy moved Brandon Crawford up in the lineup following a big September and the shortstop came through with a grand slam in the Wild Card Game, but he’s struggled since then and is now back batting eighth. Travis Ishikawa remains in left field over Michael Morse.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox “do have an interest” in Kevin Long, who was fired as the Yankees’ hitting coach last week.
Long was the Yankees’ hitting coach from 2007 to 2014, during which time they scored the second-most runs in all of baseball. However, as injuries and aging wrecked the roster in recent years they ranked among the worst offenses in the American League.
This season the Yankees ranked 13th in the 15-team league with 633 runs and the Red Sox scored exactly one more run with 634. Boston’s hitting coach, Greg Colbrunn, stepped down two weeks ago.
Lots of times when we post something a player tweeted it’s because they said something regrettable, but this back-and-forth involving Nationals reliever Jerry Blevins made me smile:
About three-and-a-half hours before the scheduled first pitch MLB announced that Game 3 of the ALCS between the Orioles and Royals has been postponed due to projected rain tonight in Kansas City.
Game 3 will instead be played Tuesday night, followed by Game 4 on Wednesday afternoon and Game 5 on Thursday afternoon. And the scheduled off day Thursday has been washed way. Game 6 and Game 7 remain as scheduled.
Both teams are sticking with their original Game 3 starters, so Baltimore will go with Wei-Yin Chen and Kansas City will go with Jeremy Guthrie.
And now we’re all free to, like, do something productive with ours lives tonight. I heard “Gilmore Girls” is on Netflix now.