ATLANTA—Matt Carpenter’s pinch single in the eighth inning enabled the Cardinals to tie the Atlanta Braves Thursday before they went on to beat the Braves. But that didn’t get Carpenter into Friday’s lineup for Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
Tommy Edman is at third, Dexter Fowler in right and Harrison Bader is in center. The only change is that Kolten Wong, who had two key hits on Thursday, will hit sixth and Paul DeJong seventh against Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz. Wong is five for 11 with a homer against Foltynewicz and DeJong three for 10 with a home run. Carpenter is three for 12 with a home run against Foltynewicz and Bader two for four with a triple.
Manager Mike Shildt explained that he flip-flopped Wong and DeJong because of a righthander pitching, rather than lefthander Dallas Keuchel on Thursday.
As for Carpenter, he said, “That was definitely the biggest consideration in the lineup. He can obviously contribute starting, but he also can take that (pinch) at-bat.”
Carpenter said, “It's something that I enjoy. I certainly don't shy away from it at all. And (Shildt) has been very open with me about what my role is and how those moments are going to be given to me, and giving me plenty of time on the bench to get ready, keeping a heads-up. Like, there were two times earlier in the game yesterday that I thought I might take an at-bat and it ended up working out in the eighth.
“But, yeah, I enjoy those moments. I don't shy away from them, and love to do whatever I can to help us.”
Jack Flaherty, 1-1 with a 2.25 earned run average against the Braves, will make his postseason debut for the Cardinals after compiling a dazzling 0.91 ERA in the second half of the season.
Flaherty’s career ERA at SunTrust Park, however, is 6.75 over two starts.
Atlanta has added veteran righthander Julio Teheran to the roster to replace reliever Chris Martin, who suffered an oblique strain as he was preparing to face Paul Goldschdt in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game.
This proved to be an important loss for the Braves, who then called on Luke Jackson, who surrendered a home run to Goldschmidt and then was charged with another run after that on Carpenter’s hit off closer Mark Melancon.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Martin’s loss “is a huge hit.” The upshot is that projected Game 4 starter Max Fried, a lefthander who led the staff in wins at 17, likely will take on a more significant bullpen role than the one spotless inning he tossed on Thursday.
“We know he can do it,” said Snitker. who used Fried in relief in all four division series games the Braves had against the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
Whether Fried could relieve again Friday and still pitch Game 4, Snitker said Fried still could be a candidate, as well as Teheran, who was the Braves’ opening-day starter for the past six seasons. On Thursday, Teheran wasn’t even introduced with his teammates before the game although he was in the Atlanta area. Teheran apparently did not take well to being left off the division series roster, initially.
“He wasn't happy. I didn't expect him to be,” said Snitker said. “I wasn't happy. Like I said before, that was one of the toughest things I've probably ever been through. But he handled it like a pro -- very maturely.”
SNITKER DEALS WITH ACUNA
After Ronald Acuna Jr., had not hustled out what should have been a seventh-inning double and had shown poor form in watching a long home run in the ninth and then sashaying around the bases, Snitker spoke with his talented 21-year-old outfielder, mostly concerned about the first play, which may have cost the Braves a run. But Snitker also wasn’t pleased with how Acuna treated the long homer off Carlos Martinez.
“Yeah, that bothered me a little bit, too,” said Snitker.
But Snitker said, “I'm not going to give up on this kid. I mean, I'm going to go to the end of the earth trying to help this guy.”
Without Acuna’s three hits and two runs batted in, the Braves wouldn’t have been close on Thursday but those numbers took a back seat to his attitude.
“I mean, it's a shame that myself (and) his teammates have to address this,” Snitker said. “We shouldn't be talking about this. It was a great comeback. He had a great evening. We should be talking about that, not addressing this issue.
“I'm disappointed more than personally let down.”
Because of the Dallas Stars arriving in St. Louis on Friday night to play the Blues on Saturday, the Braves, who will arrive there after the baseball game Friday, have had to split their traveling party into two hotels — one in Clayton and the other in St. Louis. . . . The Cardinals are 34-18 in division series games, having won 10 of the 13 previous division round series in which they have played.
1. Dexter Fowler rf
2. Tommy Edman 3b
3. Paul Goldschmidt 1b
4. Marcell Ozuna lf
5. Yadier Molina c
6. Kolten Wong 2b
7. Paul DeJong ss
8. Harrison Bader cf
9. Jack Flaherty p
1. Ronald Acuna Jr. cf
2. Ozzie Albies 2b
3. Freddie Freeman 1b
4. Josh Donaldson 3b
5. Nick Markakis lf
6. Matt Joyce rf
7. Brian McCann c
8. Dansby Swanson ss
9. Mike Foltynewicz p