Thursday, October 3, 2013
Cards playoff pitching plans
By AJ Mass
Although Edward Mujica had a September to forget, blowing two saves and posting an 11.05 ERA and a .514 batting average against en route to being ousted from his job as the St. Louis Cardinals closer, he nevertheless is expected to make the cut and be included on the team's post-season roster.
Clearly, Trevor Rosenthal should continue to be the "go-to guy" in close games, but given the fact that many of St. Louis's other bullpen options will be rookies -- inlcuding the trio of Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness and Carlos Martinez -- Mujica's experience is likely what helped the struggling reliever keep his roster spot for now.
As for who will get the Game 3 start, Mike Matheny has not announced his selection just yet. Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn will pitch the first two games of the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but whether or not the next game goes to Joe Kelly, Michael Wacha or Shelby Miller remains to be seen.
However, Matheny may have tipped his hand when he said that Wacha and Miller would be available out of the bullpen for Game 1. That would seem to imply that Kelly might have the edge for the Game 3 call.
Given Miller's lifetime 0-4 with a 5.32 ERA and .319 BAA against the Pirates, it would not be surprising to see him getting passed over for a start this series. Meanwhile, Kelly's three wins against Pittsburgh since August 1 make him a logical Game 3 choice.