Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals, in St. Louis:
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Angel Pagan, CF 1. Jon Jay, CF
2. Marco Scutaro, 2B 2. Matt Carpenter, 1B
3. Buster Posey, 1B 3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B 4. Allen Craig, RF
5. Hector Sanchez, C 5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Hunter Pence, RF 6. David Freese, 3B
7. Gregor Blanco, LF 7. Daniel Descalso, 2B
8. Brandon Crawford 8. Pete Kozma, SS
9. Tim Lincecum, SP 9. Adam Wainwright, SP
Bruce Bochy wanted Hector Sanchez behind the plate to catch Tim Lincecum, so Buster Posey shifts to first base and Brandon Belt takes a seat on the bench. Bochy also dropped the struggling Hunter Pence down one spot, with Sanchez taking his usual place as the No. 5 hitter.
For the first time this postseason Mike Matheny has changed the Cardinals’ lineup and it’s thanks to Carlos Beltran’s knee injury keeping him on the bench. Matt Carpenter replaced Beltran in right field during Game 3, but tonight he starts at first base with Allen Craig shifting to right field. Carpenter is batting in Beltran’s usual No. 2 spot.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.