NLCS Game 2: No Hanley, No Ethier

October 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Posted in 2013 NLCS, Game Threads | Leave a comment

buschstadium

Another game, already? I’m still not over last night. I’m still not over it. I think A.J. Ellis is right on the mark when he said that much of the blame for last night’s Game 1 loss is on the players who simply couldn’t do anything with runners in scoring position, because that’s absolutely true. But a night’s sleep hasn’t changed my mind at all that the Don Mattingly decisions we hated so much yesterday don’t look at all better today, and the fact that he stubbornly insists that he made the right calls isn’t really helping with that.

But that was yesterday, and here’s to hoping that Clayton Kershaw can do enough today to make sure that Mattingly isn’t put into position to make any such close calls. He’ll need to; the only relievers who didn’t get in last night were Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez. Chris Withrow and Brian Wilson probably aren’t available tonight; Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, and Ronald Belisario all should be able to go for a second day in a row if needed.

Dodgers
Cardinals
LF
Crawford
2B
Carpenter
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Beltran
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Holliday
RF
Puig
C
Molina
3B
Uribe
3B
Freese
CF
Schumaker
1B
Adams
C
A.Ellis
CF
Jay
SS
Punto
SS
Kozma
P
Kershaw
P
Wacha

You’ll notice that Andre Ethier sits in favor of Skip Schumaker today, and that’s not really a big surprise. Having him play 13 innings after a month off wasn’t exactly in the plans, and he was feeling some soreness last night. However, an X-ray was clean, and he should be available to pinch-hit or double-switch in today.

Unfortunately, the news isn’t nearly as good for Hanley Ramirez, who was in the original lineup but was a late scratch after being hit in the ribs by Joe Kelly yesterday. That puts Nick Punto into the starting lineup, and while Punto has indeed been a nice surprise this year, that’s not exactly the kind of lineup you have in what’s a huge game with Michael Wacha on the hill for St. Louis. More concerning, we don’t yet know what his status is for the remainder of the series, thanks to approximately the 17th different injury that has cost him time this year.

There’s at least one bit of good news, though: as we’d hoped for, Steve Lyons will not be back with the team in any capacity in 2014. (Eric Collins is reportedly out too, though that’s not official.) Hard to see that as anything but a huge win. Hopefully, that’s not the only W we’re talking about today.

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