Rookie right-hander Shelby Miller won’t be the only Cardinals starter ready for bullpen duty in Game 5 of their NL division series against Pittsburgh tonight.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said Lance Lynn, chased in the fifth inning of Game 2, will be available as well. Lynn has failed to qualify for a victory in any of his three career postseason starts.
Miller led major league rookies with 15 wins but is adjusting to being the odd man out in the playoff rotation so far. He’s worked just one inning in the series, and noted “I have no idea when I’m going to pitch” and added it felt “like I haven’t thrown forever.”
The Pirates are iffy about using starter A.J. Burnett in a relief role.
Burnett has an unsightly 31.50 ERA in the series after eight straight Cardinals batters reached safely to start their seven-run third inning in Game 1, and he has very little experience out of the bullpen.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle all but ruled out lefty Francisco Liriano, the Game 3 starter who “poured his whole tank out the other day” and has also been dealing with flulike symptoms.
All of Burnett’s eight career postseason appearances have been starts. Only five of his 375 career outings have been in relief.
“A.J.’s preparation is such that I don’t know, we’d have to talk to him,” Hurdle said. “He takes a nice routine to get in line to go, so I’m not sure.”
Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole will start Game 5 after a strong outing in Game 2. Adam Wainwright gets the ball for St. Louis.
FAMILIAR FOE: Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams knew plenty about the Pirates growing up just up the road in Philipsburg. He’s a little surprised he never got their attention.
“I didn’t hear anything from the Pirates, and I played 40 minutes from their backyard,” Adams said Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Adams set several career records as an all-state catcher at Philipsburg-Osceola High “smack dab in the middle of the state,” with fans divided between the Pirates and Phillies. He set more marks staying in state for college at Slippery Rock, where he batted .495 with 14 homers his junior year and was a Division II All-American.
Still, nothing from the Pirates. The Cardinals drafted him in the 23rd round in 2009, and Adams slugged his way to the majors.
Adams said he was a “bit of a Pirates fan” growing up, but mostly was a Ken Griffey Jr. fan.
HANK’S YANKS: New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner admitted it’s very tough watching the playoffs without his team participating.
The Yankees failed to make the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and finished with an 85-77 record, their poorest since 1992.
“At some point, you’re going to miss out,” Steinbrenner said Tuesday. “It happens, especially with injuries. You’ve just got to toughen up and move on. But it is difficult, very difficult. Just like the fans, I’m used to seeing us in there, and it’s strange when we’re not.”
Steinbrenner lives in Tampa, Fla., about 30 minutes from Tropicana Field.