June 24: Cardinals (37-35) @ Royals (31-38)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Center fielder Jon Jay is out of the lineup this afternoon — but that is no reason for concern. Manager Mike Matheny explained that the plan since Jay’s return from the DL was to give him today off. The Royals have a left-hander starting, and the Cards also don’t want to overwork Jay, given that his rehab assignment lasted only two games.

This marks the end of Interleague Play for the Cardinals this season, which also means the DH will, after today, be out of play. Matheny used these pair of visits to American League parks to give Carlos Beltran (3 games), Matt Holliday (2 games) and Allen Craig (1 game) a chance to stay in the lineup but out of the field. Don’t underestimate how much even that partial rest can help.

Matheny made a case for Lance Lynn being invited back here to Kansas City for the All-Star Game, saying on Sunday that “statistically, no doubt” Lynn is deserving of a spot on the NL squad. Lynn has had a terrific first half, but so have several other NL pitchers. As a result, it’s certainly not a given that Lynn takes one of those NL spots. He has two starts — today and next Saturday — to improve his credentials.

Though Lynn ranks second in the NL with 10 wins, his 2.80 ERA ranks just 14th among all NL starters with at least 60 innings. Kyle Lohse is two spots behind Lynn on that list with his 2.85 ERA.

All-Star selections will be made in one week. Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will be filling in the holes on the roster after fan and player vote sets several of the roster spots.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Rafael Furcal (SS)
  2. Allen Craig (RF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Carlos Beltran (DH)
  5. David Freese (3B)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. Matt Carpenter (1B)
  8. Shane Robinson (CF)
  9. Daniel Descalso (2B)

Pitcher: Lance Lynn (RHP)

ROYALS LINEUP:

  1. Alex Gordon (LF)
  2. Irving Falu (2B)
  3. Mike Moustakas (3B)
  4. Billy Butler (1B)
  5. Jeff Francoeur (RF)
  6. Brayan Pena (DH)
  7. Salvador Perez (C)
  8. Jarrod Dyson (CF)
  9. Alcides Escobar (SS)

Pitcher: Jonathan Sanchez (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

I’d like to see Matheny play the “hot hand” more. I don’t get the whole “he was already scheduled for a day off.” who cares? as the great Herm Edwards would say, “you play to win the game.”

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