Game 84: Cardinals-Angels …

Cardinals (49-33)

STLMatt Carpenter, 2B
Jon Jay, CF
Carlos Beltran, RF
Allen Craig, LF
Yadier Molina, C
Matt Adams, 1B
David Freese, DH
Daniel Descalso, 3B
Pete Kozma, SS

Pitching: RH Shelby Miller (8-6, 2.79 ERA)

Angels (40-43)

laaJ.B. Shuck, LF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, DH
Josh Hamilton, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Hank Conger, C
Erick Aybar, SS

Pitching: RH Jerome Williams (5-3, 3.21 ERA)

  • Is Hamilton dipping again, after quitting in the second half of last season? Video has shown what appears to be smokeless tobacco coming out of his mouth in a few at-bats, which might have been a route Hamilton took towards getting right at the plate again. Approached by reporters before Wednesday’s game, though, Hamilton wouldn’t comment. “I just don’t have any comments on it. It’s one of those things where if I give you guys any kind of story, your story’s going to be different from his story, your story’s going to be different from his story. And then other people who aren’t in this clubhouse, with you guys, are going to take your story and it’s going to be an absolute mess. No, nothing is coming from these lips [in terms of confirmation or denial over smokeless tobacco use]. … Until you actually see me reach in a bag of chewing tobacco, and pull it out, and put it in my mouth, then what’s in there?”
  • Asked about how much quitting smokeless tobacco might have affected him in a rough second half with the Rangers last year, Hamilton said: “I don’t know if you know this, but before I quit, I started sucking. That has absolutely nothing to do with it.”
  • Conger is back behind the plate, with Chris Iannetta sitting. Since June 12 (including today), Conger has started nine games. Iannetta has started 10. Asked if this was a platoon, Mike Scioscia said: “I think when you’re talking about a platoon, you’re talking more about offensive matchups, lefty-righty, things like that. There’s a bit of a time-sharing that’s been going on here in the last month and I think it’s been beneficial to both players. Both players want to be out there as much as they can, and it’s taken a little pressure off of Chris and given Hank a chance to contribute.”
  • Scioscia on the Rangers signing Manny Ramirez to a Minor League deal: “Manny still loves to play baseball. I don’t think you can argue that he’s gone to great lengths to show that he can still play. … We just saw some video on him, and that swing looks the same as it did when he was 30. He’s going to get another opportunity at some point, I’m sure.”
  • Scioscia wouldn’t say who’s starting on Saturday. He knows who he is, but he isn’t saying. “We have a plan,” is all he said. Michael Roth was not listed on the bullpen sheet today, so it could be him.
  • The Angels signed 16-year-old left-hander Ricardo Sanchez to kick off their international signings.

Alden

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