Cards notes: Matheny hasn't said who'll start Game 3

Cards notes: Matheny hasn't said who'll start Game 3
October 22, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Mike Matheny on reports of an illegal substance on Jon Lester's glove: "It's pretty much a dead issue."

(AP Photo)

BOSTON –  Adam Wainwright will start Game 1 Wednesday night at Fenway Park against he Red Sox, followed by Michael Wacha in Game 2. After that, though, manager Mike Matheny has not said.
 
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Allen Craig will be added to the roster for the World Series, with Adron Chambers being taken off the roster. Craig, an All-Star this season, hit .315 with 13 home runs, 97 RBI, a .373 on-base percentage, and .457 slugging percentage in the regular season.  Craig missed the first two rounds of the postseason with ligament damage in his left foot.
 
“Allen ended up passing his last test today,” Matheny said Tuesday afternoon. “He went out and ran the bases and has hit live.  We're anxious to have him back, even though we felt fortunate that Matt Adams has been able to do what he's doing.

“Yes, that gives us more depth.  We have a couple of hitters that we'd love to have in the lineup, and actually all season long we were in that situation, where we had a Matt Adams and Allen Craig and sometimes a Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday, that we were switching around, trying to find playing time for all those bats.  But right now we feel comfortable with Allen as a DH.  Once we get back to St. Louis we'll reevaluate, but we anticipate him being able to pinch-hit.  But if he continues to progress and things look differently, we could make that change.  But right now we're pretty happy with Matt Adams at first base.”
 
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Matheny on Red Sox Game 1 starter Jon Lester:
 
“We faced a lot of good pitching lately, just like they have.  To get to this point in the season, you haven't had any half‑steppers.  So we know that he's going to come in and he's going to have his game ready and he's going to be on top of it.  He's a big game pitcher.  But once again we faced some really good ones so far, and been able to put together a good game plan.  It's just a matter of guys making the needed adjustments and have a good plan as we head out there.  We know this is the kind of guy that thrives in these situations.  But we believe we have an offense that can thrive in it also.”
 
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This is the first time the Sox and Cardinals will face each other since 2008.
 
“Every team we play it seems to be a little bit different philosophy,”  Matheny said. “But once again, right now I think one of the biggest things for our club is to eliminate distractions.  And keep away from getting away from what we're good at.  What we're good at is staying within ourselves, regardless of what the other club does, and stick with our strengths.  And the guys have done a nice job.  We've had plenty of opportunities to have distractions, and the guys have done a real nice job of staying the course.

So this is going to be another test.  And hopefully they're ready for it.”
 
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Matheny, who was the catcher on the Cardinals World Series team that was swept by the Red Sox, on his memories of that series:
 
“I do remember we had a very tough series against Houston, and went to Game 7 with a very good club.  And it was a knockdown, drag‑out fight.  It was pretty much a whirlwind by the time we ended there and got here to Boston.  And next thing you know, we're down two games and didn't even know what happened.  And that was a team that didn't happen to very often.  It was a very good team that walked on the field expecting to win.  And next thing you know we ran into a buzz saw.  You look at what that '04 Boston team did just to get there.  It was an incredible run to get through the Yankees at the end, and we just couldn't stop them.

“It was a lesson learned, not that you our team at  that point was half‑stepping or we weren't prepared, but we just hadn't been hit like that all season long.  So it was a little bit of a shocker.

“What that translates into now, a lot like how we talked about last year standing in San Francisco, Game 7 and watching those guys celebrate, realizing how quickly it can get away from you.  I think that's the message we have again this year, is just the urgency, first pitch.  This is a team that's going to fight us the whole way, too, so I expect a good heavyweight bout.
 
“I think we were staying in Connecticut last time," Matheny joked. "Boston is a beautiful city, especially this time of year.  And I think we're all very happy to stay nice and close this time.  It was about an $80 cab ride in '04.

“It's a great city we're looking forward to coming to.  It's kind of fun watching a lot of these young players that have never seen Fenway Park.  So much nostalgia and history here.  Watching them to go about it the first time.  They all went out early, just like a bunch of kids, as soon as they got off the bus or the cab, they went straight out in the stands and looked around.  It's a great experience.

“The atmosphere here, we know it's going to be wild and loud, and that's exactly what we want.  That's exactly what you would hope for in a World Series setting.  I know everybody is looking forward to it.”
 
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Matheny on his team’s approach to Sox closer Koji Uehara:
 
“If he's coming into the zone, then you've probably got something to hit, as long as you stay within yourself and are able to adapt.  But you're watching some very good players take some awkward swings, so there's more deception than what it appears, especially watching it on film or on TV live.

“So you start looking at the matchups, there's very few players on either club who have seen a lot of the other.  It's going to be adjusting on the fly.  And you're going to go up there and the first time see a pitch that looks a little different to you.  This game is about making adjustments and adapting.  The good players do it quickly.  The great ones do it even quicker.  So hopefully our guys are able to get a look, stay with the plan, stick with it and trust themselves.  It's happened to us, once again.  All season long, we've run into guys who have had a lot of success, and who have had a lot of different successes as far as being able to get swing and misses.  We have to be able to stay on top of it.”
 
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Game 1 starter Wainwright on how he would pitch Shane Victorino, who has been hit six times in 10 games so far this postseason:
 
“I pitched against Shane for many years.  I know if he gets on base, he can wreak havoc. He's very fast. He's a very good base runner.  I don't think anyone in our locker room is intentionally ever going to throw one and hit him on purpose, because they know the damage he can do on the basepaths.

“I saw a couple of those breaking balls and it's unintentional sometimes, but it will be interesting to see him right‑handed.  I faced him left‑handed quite a bit.  And I remember his first game attempting to switch-hit when he was with the Dodgers in Double-A.  I played against him way back then, and all he could do is slash and run.  The next time he came back and had more power from the left side, even more power lefty than righty. So, it will be interesting to see him right-handed.”