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Cardinals fire Matheny with team hovering near .500

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have fired manager Mike Matheny during his seventh season with the team hovering around .500.

The Cardinals announced Matheny’s firing after an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, a defeat that dropped St. Louis to 47-46 and seven games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

Matheny went 591-473 as manager, and his tenure included a loss to the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 World Series. Matheny was a Gold Glove Award-winning catcher with St. Louis from 2000-2004 before getting his first managerial job with the club prior to the 2012 season.

The Cardinals made the playoffs in Matheny’s first four seasons before missing the past two postseasons.

Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also fired, and bench Coach Mike Shildt was named the team’s interim manager.

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.