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Cardinals announce NLCS rotation, with Joe Kelly in Game 1

Oct 10, 2013, 2:46 PM EDT

joe kelly cardinals getty Getty Images

During the regular season Joe Kelly went from reliever to fill-in starter for the Cardinals, pitching so well that he grabbed a full-time spot, and now he’s starting Game 1 of the NLCS.

St. Louis announced its rotation with Kelly in Game 1, followed by Michael Wacha in Game 2 and Adam Wainwright in Game 3. That means standout rookie Shelby Miller will once again be relegated to the bullpen, where he threw just one inning in the NLDS.

Kelly will match up against Zack Greinke in the series opener versus the Dodgers, setting up a Wacha-Clayton Kershaw duel in Game 2. Kelly, who has a 3.03 ERA in 31 career starts since debuting last season, tossed 5.1 innings of three-run ball versus the Pirates in Game 3 of the NLDS.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    “That means standout rookie Shelby Miller will once again be relegated to the bullpen, where he threw just one inning in the NLDS”

    Not so fast Aaron, Miller is an starting option for Game 4 – Lynn is far from a given at this point.

    • forsch31 - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Lynn was the Game 2 starter following Wainwright in the NLDS. So, it seems he’s being skipped for now to postpone a decision. It also gives more time to Miller to prepare, given that he seems to have been a bit gassed at the end of the season.

    • spudchukar - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      My thinking exactly. This is the way I would go. Plus, one likes to keep open the possibility of using Miller and perhaps Lynn in Game #5, if they are up 3-1. Not predicting those results just advancing the thought process of saving Wainwright, Wacha, and Kelly for a possible WS match-up.

    • thomas655 - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Absolutely correct!! Shelby should be a starter and Lance should be relegaged to the bullpen.

    • cincinata - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      I saw Lynn a little here in Cinti.I was not impressed at all. He seems to be OK until the 3rd or 4th inning, and then he loses it. If he is on the Cards NLDS roster, then he should be in the pen, where he can come in for just a short stint. I don’t know much about Miller except that he was touted to be the best pitching prospect in the minors. But, they said that with Wacha in the minors too, so someone missed the boat.

  2. cohnjusack - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    tossed 5.1 innings of two-run ball versus the Pirates in Game 3 of the NLDS.

    That sounds a little better than “allowed 9 baserunners in 5.1 innings and actually gave up 3 runs (2 earned)”.

    • okwhitefalcon - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Indeed it does.

      High walks rate/low strike out rate etc…

      Better get Greinke in Game 1 with Kershaw in the shadows looming Saturday afternoon.

    • spudchukar - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Another attempt to brandish your opinion of Kelly, who pitched well in Game #3. Remember what really happened. Retired the first two hitter, then got hosed by the umpire Layne on strike three vs. McCutchen who was given a walk cause Layne believes knee-high breaking balls shouldn’t be called strikes.

      That was followed by an infield single off Kelly’s glove that Kozma threw away, allowing the runners to move up a base, and then Byrd fisted a soft liner past a frozen Freese, scoring two.

      Kelly then retired the next two in the second, only to have Layne again refuse to call low strikes, giving up a walk to Liriano, who was stranded as Marte rolled out softly to Freese.

      The third began by retiring Walker, before a solid single by McCutchen, who might be the league MVP, and then a line-out into a double play by past MVP Morneau.

      The fourth was a one, two three frame, on a routine grounder by Byrd, followed by K’s of Alvarez and Martin.

      The fifth, started with a looping liner to center by Barmes, a successful sacrifice by Liriano, before Marte popped out weakly to first, and an easy grounder to Adams by Walker.

      Then in the sixth, another Layne aided walk to McCutchen, a fly out to Holliday, and a solid double by Byrd to left and then an intentional walk to Alvarez, before being replaced by Maness.

      If Kelly pitches as well tomorrow night, the Cards will most likely win, have Wacha and Wainwright next, and sit in a positive position.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Okay, giving up 9 baserunners in 5.1 innings is actually awesome. I just didn’t understand the context that some of the players were really good, sometimes fielders make bad plays and calls aren’t always correct. Obviously, these circumstances aren’t in play when every other pitcher plays. Got it!

      • spudchukar - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Obviously, you don’t “get”, it. The point is very few balls were hit well, only 1 extra base hit, which has been the norm for Kelly, of his 4 walks, only 1 was legitimate, thanks to an ump who wouldn’t call strikes, strikes and Kelly was matched against Liriano, who he matched ER for ER in a hostile environment.

        But the most important thing about Kelly is his ability to make pitches when he needs to, something that Lance Lynn, and to a lesser degree Shelby Miller still need to learn.

        And Kelly has been improving his BB/9 in recent outings, and with an ump who didn’t take away his knee-high breaking ball would have succeeded in that department in Pittsburgh.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        Kelly is pitching great tonight, ain’t he?

      • spudchukar - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        Yep, another quality outing in a huge game.

  3. stlunatik - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    it doesn’t matter who pitches because in the end the Cardinals will come out on top. as soon as everyone else realizes that the better off they are.

    • forsch31 - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      What was that saying about pride stepping out before a fall?

      Tempting the GOBs. Damn you, man. Don’t you know the Cardinals lose when you expect them to win (1985, 1987, 2004, 2005) and win when you expect them to lose (1982, 2006, 2011)?

    • notsofast10 - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Yeah that is what the tomahawk choppers said too!

  4. cabrera24 - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    So you guys really think it’s that easy ? You guys are just going come out and play and beat The dodgers ? Are we forgetting who the dodgers first 2 games starters are ?
    Wow cards fan you guys barely beat Pitt man take it easy .

    • gibbyfan - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      big time cards fan here but gotta say —on paper and logically speaking LA should be favored –for one thing they have over twice the payroll which is really significant given that I believe the Cards are near the top ten in that category…….also have incredible pitching. But, as they say –in a short series anything can happen but I believe the Cards are going to have be on the top of their game to nail this one down.

      • tridecagon - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        LOL, payroll. Perhaps you haven’t heard of the ridiculous parade of low-cost power arms the Cards have coming out of the bullpen. Don’t worry, you’ll see them soon enough.

        Ask the Yankees how much an enormous payroll gets you.

        Don’t get me wrong, the Dodgers are a good team. But the Cardinals have already gone further than they should have, exceeding all reasonable expectations for a season in which they lost so many major pieces to injury. This is one of those teams that’s just better on the field than they are on paper.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        hate to see it but payroll is a major factor –yes there are yearly exceptions and I love to see those but in reality where would the Dodgers be with the huge infusion of $$$………..and yes the yanks had a bad year but they have laways been a big payroll team and I’m pretty sure it had a lot to do with being far ahead of anyone else in championships……..

      • okwhitefalcon - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        Gibby, I dig your insights but the payroll fixation in your posts has now bridged the gap from fretting about $$$ in the Molina and Wainwright re-signings to the payrolls of the Cards opponents.

        It’s October baseball, no one’s worried about the early bird special discount and eating dinner at 4pm.

        Enjoy the ride regardless of $$ – you never know when/if the next one will happen.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Falcon –I only hate to see the huge disparity in payroll because I think ultimately it’s bad for the game as a whole –seems at one time it was pretty much just teh Yankees but I think th eproblem has gotten worse. It’s great to see the few teams that seem to be able to overcome the deficit through great management, luck or whatever –but that’s just my general feeling –more as a fan of the game than as a cardinal fan.
        I will certainly grant you this–the Wainright deal is looking pretty good –don’t think I ever was negative on Molina–although it was a lot for a catcher, he was a bargain—To my previous point—had he become a f/a I’m pretty sure one of the big $$ guys would simply given him an insane amount that the cards would not be able to match—Think either of the LA teams.
        By the way–I never miss the early bird special

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Easy? Now way Cabrera. In fact, I don’t see anyone claiming it is going to be easy.
      It never is. Quite frankly, we wouldn’t want it any other way. Competition is a beautiful thing!
      Go Cardinals!

  5. missingdiz - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    If Lynn is going to start a game, it has to be at home. His ERA on the road is over 5–we’d be better off with Westbrook. At home, though, Lynn’s usually been a very good pitcher.

  6. dannymac17 - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    There is a very good chance the Dodgers grab both games in St Louis.

    • spudchukar - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      Yeah, about the same chance the Cards grab the next two games in LA.

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Nothing is a given in October baseball, man.

  7. blacksables - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Why is everyone talking about just the pitching? They aren’t throwing to an empty battersbox. Guys will be up there trying to hit, and the fielders have to catch the ball.

    The Cardinals line-up is better, and so is their defense.

  8. spacemaker101 - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Hope the dodgers get swept… Probably have the most annoying fans that think everything puig does is AMAZING.. Wow do you guys see puig in the dugout drinking that water WOW what a Cuban game changer OMG!!

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