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First Pitch: Cardinals mix up the lineup for game one of impromptu doubleheader

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First pitch of Game 1 is 12:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals will play the rain-delayed Wednesday game as a matinee 18 hours after the original start time. The second game of the doubleheader is scheduled start at 6:45 p.m. 

The Cardinals have overhauled the lineup compared to the one posted for last night's game.

One notable change: Andrew Knizner will be taking over behind the plate in place of Yadier Molina. Many teams use both catchers in a doubleheader to lessen the physical toll on the player. 

The move takes advantage of Knizner's play when paired with today's starter Miles Mikolas. It is also Molina's preference to catch the new guy, Jose Quintana, who will be making his first start as a Cardinal in game two.

Mikolas and Knizner have found a groove as battery mates this season.

In 14 starts and 90+ innings total, Knizner has helped Mikolas achieve the lowest opponent batting average of any Cardinals pitcher this season. He also pitches for a better walk/strikeout rate when throwing to Knizner.

Marcus Stroman will be the starter for the Cubs instead of pitching the evening game as originally scheduled. Justin Steele was scheduled to pitch yesterday, but the Cubs moved him to their weekend series against the Miami Marlins.

The switch means the Cardinals won't see a left-handed pitcher; the team has beat up left-handers regularly this season. It also means  Albert Pujols is no longer in the lineup; Nolan Arenado will take over at the DH spot in his stead. Nolan Gorman will get the start at second base and Brendan Donovan is in at third for Arenado.

The only remaining similarities between Wednesday's lineup and the rescheduled lineup are Paul Goldschmidt batting third and playing first base and Dylan Carlson leading off and playing center field.

Due to the doubleheader, the Cardinals and Cubs have agreed to add a 27th man to their active rosters. James Naile is now on the Cardinals roster and will be available out of the bullpen today.  

Lineups 

CARDINALS (55-48)

1. Dylan Carlson, CF 

2. Nolan Gorman, 2B 

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Nolan Arenado, DH

5. Paul DeJong, SS 

6. Lars Nootbar, RF 

7. Corey Dickerson, LF 

8. Andrew Knizner, C

9. Brendan Donovan, 3B

P: Miles Mikolas, RHP 

CUBS (41-61)

1. Rafael Ortega, CF

2. Wilson Contreras, C

3. Ian Happ, DH

4. Seiya Suzuki, RF

5. Nico Hoerner, SS  

6. Patrick Wisdom, 1B 

7. Zach McKinstry, 3B

8. Nelson Velazquez, LF 

9. David Bote, 2B

P: Marcus Stroman, RHP

Pitching Matchup

RHP Miles Mikolas (7-8, 2.87 ERA): Pitching for the first time on home soil since June 16, Mikolas has been significantly better at home this season, allowing hitters to only hit .142 when pitching at Busch Stadium. Mikolas is 4-2 when starting a home as well. 

RHP Marcus Stroman (3-5, 3.99 ERA): The WBC star has been on a tear in his last four starts. Allowing just two runs since returning off the IL in early July, Stroman has also gone six innings in each of his last two starts. Earlier this week Stroman announced he would be pitching for Team Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic in March, a change of teams after winning the tournament in 2017 with Team USA.

Wild Card

  • The Cardinals have hit home runs in 11 straight games, the second longest active streak behind the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers will come to Busch Stadium this weekend.

Injury Report 

  • RHP Drew VerHagen will undergo season ending hip surgery, the righty had been on the IL with a right hip impingement. He will undergo the proceeded soon. (Updated August 4)
  • Left-hander Steven Matz was diagnosed with a torn MCL in his left knee after reaching for a ground ball back to the mound. after evaluation it was decided he will not need season-ending surgery and will rehab the torn ligament, there is no timetable for his return and will be reevaluated on a week to week basis. (Updated August 4)
  • 1B/OF/DH Juan Yepez is on the 10-day IL with a forearm strain suffered a week ago Thursday night making a throw to the plate. He will begin throwing in a few days. (Updated July 22)
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (shoulder) has been moved to the 60-Day IL meaning he would not be available until late August, at the earliest. The transaction gives a structure to a spring training-like return for the right-hander and a rehab assignment that could take a month, if necessary. (Updated July 13)

Who's Next

Thursday vs. the Chicago Cubs: Jose Quintana (first start as a Cardinal) vs. Marcus Stroman (3-5, 3.99 ERA)

Up Next

The Cardinals close their series against the Cubs before the New York Yankees comes to town this weekend. The Cardinals will play 12 of their next 15 games at Busch Stadium, welcoming the New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers over that stretch.

Check back here throughout the evening for immediate coverage of the game and any news that surfaces from the Cardinals' pre-game activities. We will publish expanded game coverage online Wednesday night, and also in the pages of Thursday's Post-Dispatch.

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