ST. LOUIS Matt Carpenter arrived at Busch Stadium late Wednesday morning not expecting to see his name in the starting lineup. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has started the same eight players the entire postseason, so he didn't expect him to change things up now.
And he didn't. Despite Carpenter's having a perfect 4-for-4 career mark off Giants starter Matt Cain, the role player started the game where he had for each of the previous eight playoff games: the bench.
This game didn't play out like the others, though. A knee strain forced Carlos Beltran from the game after just one inning, and Carpenter was sent into right field as his replacement for the top of the second.
The next inning, he contributed the eventual game-winning hit with a two-run homer into the seats in right, helping the Cardinals beat the Giants, 3-1, and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS.
"Obviously, all season long I've realized what my role is on this team, and I just try to do that to the best of...