LOS ANGELES — Being that Hollywood is only a fly ball or two away from Dodger Stadium, it would be fitting if the longtime Cardinal Albert Pujols appeared in a big moment against his former team, especially with Adam Wainwright starting tonight’s wild-card game and Yadier Molina behind the plate for St. Louis.
The three won the World Series together in St. Louis in 2006 and 2011 and remain close friends.
So how cool would it be …
“Nothing is cool about that team over there right now to us,” Wainwright said during Tuesday’s workout here. He added: “Albert is a great friend, but right now we are fighting. We’ll make up afterwards. But we’re fighting right now.”
His words echoed what Pujols said last week anticipating this matchup.
“I still have a lot of respect for that organization, and for a lot of the guys on that side, but whenever we cross that line, it’s about a job,” Pujols said. “It’s about helping your team win. After all is said and done, we’re still friends and the respect is still mutual.”
Wainwright had one more interesting point.
“I was watching ‘Last Chance U’ earlier and they were going over the game plan and the team they were going to face, and one of the players marveled at how fast the other quarterback was,” Wainwright said. “And the coach stopped him and said: ‘Don’t be a fan.’”
“Right now, we can’t be a fan of that other team.”
Reporting from Dodger Stadium
Now it can be told: Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said he lost a bet with his friend and former Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, over San Francisco ending Los Angeles’ run of eight consecutive N.L. West titles. “He had the Giants, I had the Dodgers, I lost a dinner and a nice bottle of Bordeaux.”
LOS ANGELES — One key challenge for Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer and catcher Will Smith tonight: controlling St. Louis’s running game.
The Cardinals ranked sixth in the majors with 89 stolen bases this season. In addition, three Cardinals are among M.L.B.’s top 50 in sprint speed (feet per second) according to Statcast: Edmundo Sosa (13th, 29.8), Tyler O’Neill (15th, 29.7) and Harrison Bader (20th, 29.5). Tommy Edman, the Cardinals’ lead-off hitter, is just outside the top 50 at No. 52.
Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt is going with Sosa at shortstop over Paul DeJong and slotting him seventh in the lineup. O’Neill is batting third and playing left field, and Bader is batting eighth and playing center field.
“It was a tough decision,” Shildt said of starting Sosa over DeJong. “I felt like a couple of variables went into it, but ultimately it felt like Sosa earned the opportunity.”
Shildt said that Sosa “is a big…
Read More: Dodgers vs. Cardinals Score: Live Updates