In game of matchups, Freese gets rare night off

In game of matchups, Freese gets rare night off

ST. LOUIS -- For just the second time since June 26, Cardinals third baseman David Freese did not find his name in manager Mike Matheny's starting lineup.

There's nothing to be concerned about, though, as Freese is neither dealing with an injury nor being rested as a result of a slump. Rather, this lineup decision has everything to do with a matchup issue.

Matheny saw no better opportunity to give Freese a breather than on Monday, with the Dodgers sending right-hander Chad Billingsley to the mound in the series opener. A career .294 hitter against right-handed pitching, Freese is 0-for-6 against Billingsley. Freese has struck out in all six of those at-bats. Matt Carpenter got the start at third for the Cardinals in place of Freese.

Freese is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday.

With Lance Berkman making the start at first base, Allen Craig also sat on Monday. Craig continues to deal with quad soreness, though it is minor enough that Craig can play through it when necessary. He is likely to start in place of Berkman on Tuesday with left-hander Clayton Kershaw taking the mound.