May 10: Cardinals (18-18) @ Pirates (15-20)
The Cardinals remain stuck in a state of mediocrity, evidenced by the fact that the team has been within one game of .500 for nearly two weeks straight now. The club hasn’t had a losing streak longer than two games this year; but it has also only had one winning streak of more than two. It’s simply been a continuum of so-so.
A common thread through all of it has been manager Mike Matheny’s ever-changing lineups. Tonight, he bumps Allen Craig back into the cleanup spot for just the second time since April 23. Matt Adams, 1-for-8 in his career against Edinson Volquez, slides behind him.
Tony Cruz also returns to the lineup, his inclusion again coinciding with a Lance Lynn start. This will be Cruz’s fifth start of the season; four have come as Lynn’s batterymate. The first three went quite well, with Lynn allowing 12 hits and three earned runs in 19 innings with Cruz behind the plate. Giving Cruz somewhat regular opportunities with Lynn could be a win-win situation for the Cardinals. It allows Yadier Molina to get some necessary days off, and clearly Lynn and Cruz (who worked with each other throughout the Minors, too) have developed a nice rapport.
Matheny added that Molina needed the day off as he’s been fighting both his swing and an illness that has hit several in the clubhouse recently.
To read the full game preview for tonight’s game, click here.
It’s currently raining (shocker!) here in Pittsburgh, and the tarp is out over the PNC Park infield. The forecast calls for scattered showers throughout the rest of the day, so there is the possibility for a delay. If there is any weather-related news this evening, I’ll be sure to pass it along via my Twitter account.
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