Tag: Jhonny Peralta

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina’s absence felt immediately as Giants take lead in the seventh inning

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Update: Just as this post went up, pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras lined a home run down the right field line to bring the Cardinals back into a tie at 3-3.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina exited Game 2 of the NLCS in the bottom of the sixth inning due to a strained left oblique, and his absence was felt immediately in the top of the seventh inning. Back-up catcher Tony Cruz took over behind the plate for Molina.

Brandon Crawford led off with a walk against lefty Randy Choate. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took Choate out in favor of right-hander Carlos Martinez. Cruz couldn’t handle a Martinez offering as the ball skipped away and allowed Crawford to advance to second.

Following that, pinch-hitter Mike Morse broke his bat on a ground ball in the hole between shortstop and third base. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta may have had a force play at second base had Crawford not advanced on the passed ball. Instead, he held onto the ball and the Giants had runners on first and second with no outs. Juan Perez then bunted the two runners over to second and third base to bring up Gregor Blanco. Blanco singled to right field, scoring Crawford to break the 2-2 tie. That was the extent of the damage, as Martinez retired Joe Panik and Buster Posey each on fly balls.

Giants reliever Jean Machi is on the hill in the seventh inning as they attempt to get the final nine outs while holding into their lead to go up 2-0 in the NLCS over the Cardinals.

Fourth inning of NLCS Game 2 full of questionable managerial decisions

Bruce Bochy
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The Cardinals added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning against Giants starter Jake Peavy, but that wasn’t the most interesting part of the frame. Matt Adams led off with a walk and Jhonny Peralta followed up with a single, which set the strategy in motion.

Decision 1: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has Yadier Molina drop down a sacrifice bunt.

According to Baseball Prospectus, one’s run expectancy is lowered slightly going from runners on first and second with no outs to runners on second and third with one out. It’s defensible if you have the pitcher batting or an otherwise very weak hitter in front of a much better hitter. In this case, it’s Yadier Molina batting sixth in front of Kolten Wong.

Decision 2: Giants manager Bruce Bochy has starter Jake Peavy intentionally walk Wong to face right-handed hitter Randal Grichuk.

Ostensibly, Bochy called for the intentional walk to set up a force at every base as well as several inning-ending double play opportunities. Furthermore, Peavy has the platoon advantage against the same-handed Grichuk. On the other hand, putting a runner on base for free sets up the possibility of an irredeemably big inning. Fortunately for the Giants, Grichuk only singled to push across one run.

Decision 3: Matheny allowed starter Lance Lynn to hit for himself with runners on second and third with one out.

Yes, Lynn has had a fantastic season. Yes, Lynn was only at 62 pitches through four innings. But sending up a pinch-hitter (perhaps left-handed-hitting top prospect Oscar Taveras) opens up the possibility for the Cardinals to break the game open. Lynn, to his credit, hit a fly ball to right field, but it wasn’t deep enough to bring another run home.

Decision 4: Bochy allowed Jake Peavy to pitch to Matt Carpenter with runners on second and third and two outs with left-handed reliever Javier Lopez warming up in the bullpen.

Both teams have a day off on Monday, so reaching into the bullpen a little early isn’t as detrimental as it might have been in Game 1. Still, Bochy let the struggling Peavy pitch to the left-handed-hitting Carpenter — who slugged a home run against him in the previous inning — in a key moment in the game. Peavy was at 73 pitches and was laboring, and he wouldn’t have the platoon advantage against Carpenter. Fortunately for the Giants, Carpenter flied out to center field to end the game.

It will be interesting to see if these decisions wind up having an effect later on in the game. We’re now in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Cardinals ahead 2-1.

NLCS, Game 2: Giants vs. Cardinals lineups

busch stadium getty
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Here are the starting lineups for Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis …

GIANTS
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Travis Ishikawa
SP Jake Peavy

The Giants have made no changes to the starting lineup that beat Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals 3-0 on Saturday night. Michael Morse (oblique) will again be available off the bench as San Francisco tries to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series before the action shifts to AT&T Park.

CARDINALS
3B Matt Carpenter
CF Jon Jay
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
SS Jhonny Peralta
C Yadier Molina
2B Kolten Wong
RF Randal Grichuk
SP Lance Lynn

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will roll with the right-handed Grichuk against the right-handed Peavy despite having a far better option in Oscar Taveras, a left-handed hitter. Grichuk is just 3-for-20 this postseason and batted .250/.308/.354 against right-handers during the regular season. It doesn’t make much sense.

Korean infielder Jung-Ho Kang to be posted in November

jung-ho kang getty
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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe breaks it down …

Jung-Ho Kang, SS, Nexen Heroes — The Korean shortstop will be posted in November (under the old posting system in which the highest blind bidder gets exclusive negotiating rights), and while there’s intrigue over the 40-homer performer, there is still some pushback from scouts who have seen him play on whether he translates to major league baseball. Some of the alarms include the leg kick in his stance that’s very pronounced and lasts deep into his swing.

Kang has won the Korean Baseball Organization’s version of the Gold Glove Award three different times, but Cafardo says there “has always been skepticism over his ability to play shortstop in the majors.” He seems to profile better at third base or second base.

The 27-year-old (28 next April) batted .360/.463/.756 with 33 doubles, 38 home runs, and 107 RBI in 107 games this past season in the KBO, so a serious payday could be coming even with the lingering questions. Cafardo reported last month that the Cardinals “were interested early,” though they’re probably set now with Matt Carpenter at third base, Kolten Wong at second base, and Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.

How about the Yankees? They would appear to have some openings on their infield.

NLCS, Game 1: Giants vs. Cardinals lineups

Adam Wainwright AP
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Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals. Expected first pitch at Busch Stadium is 8:07 p.m. ET:

Giants:
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Travis Ishikawa
SP Madison Bumgarner

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has flip-flopped Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval in the order with a right-hander on the mound for St. Louis. Travis Ishikawa is back in left field after Juan Perez made the start in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Nationals. Michael Morse is available off the bench.

Cardinals:
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Randal Grichuk
LF Matt Holliday
SS Jhonny Peralta
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
CF Jon Jay
2B Kolten Wong
SP Adam Wainwright

This is the same lineup Mike Matheny used for the final two games of the NLDS against the Dodgers, with Randal Grichuk in right field and Kolten Wong at second base.