STL-SD Game 2 lineups, FAQ (ESPN, 7 ET)

October 1st, 2020

SAN DIEGO -- Fourteen years ago, the Padres’ last trip to the postseason came to an abrupt end with on the mound for St. Louis.

On Thursday, they have a chance for revenge -- or else they’ll be headed home again.

The Cardinals won Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series on Wednesday, 7-4, setting the stage for a high-stakes Game 2 on Thursday at Petco Park.

“Our back is against the wall,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “Let’s make it a Game [3] on Friday. But we’ve got to come out and play our best game of the year.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Official lineups
Cardinals: St. Louis kept the same lineup from Game 1. seems to have found a home in the cleanup spot after going 2-for-3 with two walks. And the way he’s swinging the bat, he gives protection to , who crushed a two-run homer in the Cardinals’ four-run first inning Wednesday. Despite striking out five times in Game 1, is in the lineup, batting ninth and playing center.

  1. Kolten Wong, 2B
  2. Tommy Edman, 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Dylan Carlson, LF
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Paul DeJong, SS
  7. Matt Carpenter, DH
  8. Dexter Fowler, RF
  9. Harrison Bader, CF

Padres:  In his first major lineup decision of the postseason, Padres manager Jayce Tingler went with over in the DH spot against a right-hander. That presumably leaves the red-hot Profar, a switch-hitter, for a high-leverage pinch-hit spot. As expected, the lefty-hitting moves to the leadoff spot against a right-hander.

  1. Trent Grisham, CF
  2. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
  3. Manny Machado, 3B
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Tommy Pham, LF
  6. Mitch Moreland, DH
  7. Wil Myers, RF
  8. Austin Nola, C
  9. Jake Cronenworth, 2B

Who are the starting pitchers?
Cardinals: There aren’t many other pitchers you want on the mound for a clinch scenario than Adam Wainwright. The veteran right-hander has come up big for the Cardinals with every start this season, from their return to the field after a coronavirus outbreak to a complete game on his 39th birthday when the bullpen availability was stretched thin. This will be Wainwright’s 15th postseason start in his career and 28th playoff appearance. He has a 2.81 ERA in the postseason but a 4-5 record.

Padres: Zach Davies might be the steady hand San Diego’s rotation needs right now. The right-hander mixes a fastball that rarely hits 90 mph with a changeup that drops off the table. After using their bullpen for 6 2/3 innings on Wednesday, the Padres will likely ask Davies to work deep into Game 2, and he’s more than capable. Davies is at his best when he’s inducing weak contact, and his pinpoint location makes it difficult for hitters to square him up. In 12 starts this year, Davies posted a 2.73 ERA.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Cardinals: The Cardinals probably don’t want to have their relievers cover 5 1/3 innings like they did Wednesday, but if it does work out that way, they’re OK with it. If it’s close, high-leverage arms like Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos and Génesis Cabrera will pitch. While manager Mike Shildt hasn’t designated a closer, Alex Reyes has taken over that role and can cover more than three outs, like he did Wednesday when he notched his first postseason save. Veteran lefty Andrew Miller will be in the back-end mix as well.

Padres: The Padres could seriously use some length from Davies to give some of their middle-relief weapons a day off. But if it’s close, back-end arms Drew Pomeranz and Trevor Rosenthal will almost certainly pitch. If needed, Tim Hill, Emilio Pagán, Pierce Johnson and Craig Stammen should again be available for the middle innings.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Cardinals: The Cardinals used all of those high-leverage arms on Wednesday, but none of them pitched more than 25 pitches. Helsley got four outs in 21 pitches, Reyes got four in 16 pitches. Almost all of them will certainly be available Thursday, especially if the Cardinals are on the verge of clinching an NL Division Series berth.

Padres: The Padres used a franchise playoff-record seven relievers in Wednesday’s loss, but none threw more than one inning and 30 pitches. They might try to avoid Garrett Richards, an option for length in Game 3, who hasn’t pitched back-to-back days since his transition to the bullpen. They might also try to avoid Adrian Morejon, who currently seems like the likeliest candidate to start a potential Game 3. But in a win-or-go-home setting, Tingler said: “It’s no secret we’re fighting for another game. It’s going to be all hands on deck, and we’re going to do what we have to do.”

Any injuries of note?
Cardinals: None

Padres: Left-hander Matt Strahm landed awkwardly on his right knee after throwing a pitch in the third inning Wednesday. Strahm, who missed 10 days in September with right knee inflammation, was evaluated by team trainers, and he remained in the game. But Tingler noted that Strahm’s status would be reassessed on Thursday.

Who is hot and who is not?
Cardinals: Carlson and Goldschmidt are the hottest hitters in the lineup, but the rest of the offense is starting to heat up, too. Carpenter snapped a streak of seven games without a hit in the postseason with his single in the third inning Wednesday. Molina had three hits Wednesday, including an RBI single, which passed Albert Pujols (26) for most multihit games in Cardinals postseason history with 27. Bader struck out five times and was the only Cardinals batter who didn’t record a hit Wednesday.

Padres: Don’t look now, but Tommy Pham is finally heating up. In an injury-plagued first year in San Diego, Pham mostly struggled. But he homered on Saturday and had two hits in Game 1. Jurickson Profar added two hits as well, giving him a .359 average in September (including the postseason). Meanwhile, NL MVP candidate Manny Machado is just 4-for-27 in his last eight games.

Anything else fans want to know?
Molina will play his 100th career postseason game on Thursday. That ranks sixth all-time in Major League history. His 98 postseason hits rank second all-time among catchers to Jorge Posada (103), and his 35 postseason RBIs rank third all-time among catchers, trailing Posada (42) and Yogi Berra (39).

“100? Wow, that’s a lot,” Molina said Sunday. “Hopefully I hit two homers and we win the game. Or a blooper, two-base hit.”