Goldschmidt is given a deliberate break when Carpenter first mans, bats third; Hicks makes his option to the exams Derrick Goold: Fowl Nation
St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter watches his home triple race ahead of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Duane Underwood Jr. during the sixth innings of a baseball game in Pittsburgh on Friday April 30, 2021. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar
PITTSBURGH – Given his propensity to play almost every day – he never missed a game during the Cardinals’ shortened 2020 season – the Cardinals decided to take a break for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt amid that 17-day, 17-game game schedule lightning at the end of the first month of the season.
They knew this would be the day when they got to Pittsburgh.
The only question was how much would change in the line-up without him.
Answer: Only the place he left.
In a direct player swap, Matt Carpenter will start first and take third and third place for Goldschmidt on Sunday. Manager Mike Shildt explained during a morning Zoom call to the St. Louis media that it had allowed other hit hits to stay in places they had recently hit and that he liked how Carpenter liked the line-up of a left-handed element added that corresponded to the current pop. Carpenter has completed a tight home run in two consecutive games this week and is suddenly one of seven Cardinals with at least 10 RBIs with six RBIs from those two swings.
He also increased his batting average from 0.073 to 0.114.
The Cardinals didn’t make a squad move for Jordan Hicks ahead of Sunday’s game. If they try to sweep the pirates they’ll get by without him and likely against Genesis Cabrera, who has served on consecutive days and in three of the last four games. Hicks will be performing image scans and meeting with team doctors in St. Louis on Monday. He and Daniel Ponce de Leon are both expected to meet with doctors to determine the extent of their pain and treatment plans.