St. Louis will send NLCS hero Michael Wacha to the mound in Game 2 in the hopes that he can make Boston's win streak more of a footnote than a driving force in the series. To take on the rookie right-hander, the Red Sox will push ahead with a small variation on their Game 1 batting order:
The only change in personnel is that Saltalamacchia will be behind the plate to catch John Lackey. Bogaerts has been dropped back down to the nine spot in the order, but that likely has more to do with Salty playing than the rookie's 0-for-3 night at the plate in Game 1. He wasn't the only one not hitting Wednesday: the Sox put eight runs on the scoreboard, but managed to do it with only eight hits.
On to the Cardinals:
Beltran is back in the heart of the lineup after leaving Wednesday's contest early with a severe rib bruise. The postseason demigod's availability was very questionable for Game 2, but manager Mike Matheny was sold on his health after watching him take some swings. While it's typically fruitless to speculate on the effect an injury has on a player's performance, if it's anything like the rib issue Hanley Ramirez dealt with in the NLCS, then it could end up playing a major role in the rest of the series.
It'd be easy to point the finger at Pete Kozma's two costly errors as being the reason for him not being in the Game 2 lineup, but more likely is that left-handed hitting Daniel Descalso has the platoon advantage against Lackey. Allen Craig, who went 1-for-4 in his postseason debut on Wednesday, is in the lineup again in the six spot.