September 5: Mets (64-72) @ Cardinals (74-62)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Several tweaks with the lineup today, and there are several reasons why. For one, manager Mike Matheny wants to give several players who have been on the field a lot lately a break. He likes giving a day off before/after a team off-day so that players get consecutive days to rest. Today offers that scenario.

Second, Matheny was wary of sending too many of his regulars out to face knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Knuckleball pitchers have the propensity to mess up swings, and that’s not something the Cards can afford right now.

Third, Matheny also wants to make sure some of his young players stay involved. In doing so, it keeps his bench sharper.

That said, you’ll notice that Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese and Allen Craig are all sitting today. Holliday’s day off was scheduled before Tuesday’s game, so it is not related to the back tightness that forced him out last night. In fact, Holliday said this morning that his back is fine.

With so many regulars sitting, Lance Berkman gets a chance to make his first start since coming off the disabled list. Berkman’s knees are far from 100 percent, but Berkman told his manager that he has started to feel better recently.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Jon Jay (CF)
  2. Skip Schumaker (2B)
  3. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  4. Lance Berkman (1B)
  5. Matt Carpenter (3B)
  6. Shane Robinson (LF)
  7. Daniel Descalso (SS)
  8. Tony Cruz (C)
  9. Adam Wainwright (RHP)

METS LINEUP:

  1. Mike Baxter (RF)
  2. Ruben Tejada (SS)
  3. Daniel Murphy (2B)
  4. Ike Davis (1B)
  5. Lucas Duda (LF)
  6. Justin Turner (3B)
  7. Josh Thole (C)
  8. Andres Torres (CF)
  9. R.A. Dickey (RHP)

Division standings are here. Wild card are here.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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