In hopes of extending this first round playoff series against the Dodgers, Tony LaRussa is changing up his lineup for game three tonight at Busch Stadium. The early advantage could go to L.A.’s starter tonight.
LaRussa is moving Ryan Ludwick up from the number five spot to second in the order behind Skip Schumaker is hitting .667 in the first two games. With Ryan struggling through the first two games, he didn’t want to move Rasmus to the number two spot and use his two lefties one-two in the order. Plus, DeRosa has struggled in the number two spot, so Ludwick was the logical choice.
LaRussa also said he hopes the fans at Busch Stadium give Matt Holliday a big cheer the first time he steps to the plate. LaRussa said Holliday is fine. “It wasn’t an easy play. It’s a play you feel you should make, but turn the page and do something special today.”
As far as Vicente Padilla. He makes the start for the Dodgers where he went 4-0 in seven starts since he was acquired after spending most of the season and the last three previously with Texas.
Padilla is tied with two other pitchers for 18 road wins since the start of the 2008 season, behind Cliff Lee who has 20. He may have the advantage of the game starting at 5:07 in twilight, plus the Cardinals are not familiar with Padilla. Outside of Pujols who is 4 for 9 lifetime against Padilla, DeRosa is 4 for 22 and Holliday 1 for 6. No other Cardinal starter has ever faced Padilla. Padilla hasn’t pitched past the sixth inning since July 17th against Minnesota, so he’ll probably give the Dodgers five innings before giving way to the bullpen. If Padilla, who makes his first post-season start, can keep his nerves in check, he may have an advantage early on.
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