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 on Wednesday night.
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.
AT HOME IN THE DOME: Tropicana Field, the site of Games 3 and 4 in the AL division series between Tampa Bay and Boston, has produced some strange plays over the years due to odd features like the overhanging catwalks.
But visiting manager John Farrell of the Red Sox pointed out that the dome stadium does have one big benefit:
"Well, the pros are you know you're going to play at the designated time every night," Farrell said. "Every ballpark is going to have its quirks, its intricacies. I think everyone that comes in here and plays a number of games is well aware there is some other things that they have to contend with."
Farrell added that both teams play under the same conditions.
"So, there's nothing in our minds that is a detriment to playing a game here," he said.
FAMILIAR FOE: Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams knew plenty about the Pirates growing up just down the road in Philipsburg, Pa. He's a little surprised he never got their attention.
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