NLDS, Game 4: Cardinals-Pirates lineups

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St. Louis tries to stay alive in Pittsburgh …

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
C Yadier Molina
CF Jon Jay
3B David Freese
SS Pete Kozma
SP Michael Wacha

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is sticking by his standard lineup, but the batting order changes a bit with Yadier Molina going back to the fifth spot after batting cleanup versus left-hander Francisco Liriano yesterday.

Pirates:
LF Starling Marte
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Justin Morneau
RF Marlon Byrd
3B Pedro Alvarez
C Russell Martin
SS Clint Barmes
SP Charlie Morton

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is going with defense over offense and sticking with Clint Barmes at shortstop for the second straight game after giving Jordy Mercer a start there in Game 2. And that means Pittsburgh is trotting out the exact same lineup that won yesterday to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.