BOSTON -- As he did in the final game of the National League Championship Series, manager Mike Matheny turned to Shane Robinson, not Jon Jay, to start in center field in Game 1 of the World Series.
Robinson drew his first starting assignment against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw and responded with two hits in as many at-bats. That was three days after he delivered a pinch-hit home run to help the Cardinals seal a Game 4 win over the Dodgers. With Boston sending lefty Jon Lester to the mound on Wednesday, Matheny hoped for continued production from the right-handed-hitting Robinson.
"I'm going with who is going to give us the best chance every night," Matheny said. "To me, it's strictly how well everything clicked last game and having faith that you can keep going. But I still have a lot of faith in Jon Jay as well. I think what Shane did last time, what the club did last time, and it made it pretty obvious to me."
Matheny was quick to add, though, that this is not necessarily the start of a platoon situation. Jay was the team's primary center fielder during the regular season and started 22 of the 42 games the Cardinals played against lefty starters. He was in the Cardinals' postseason lineup against lefties Francisco Liriano, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kershaw (his first of two starts) earlier this month.
"We know that tough left-handers you're going to be scratching and clawing for runs," Matheny said. "So we try to take every chance we can offensively when we can. And Shane did a great job, and has deserved another opportunity. Whether that's a straight platoon or not, I don't know. We'll see day to day as opportunities present themselves."
For Robinson, this will be his first time playing the outfield in Fenway Park. It is not, however, his first visit. He said he came here with his baseball team in high school.
Robinson spent time in the days leading up to the World Series talking with corner outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday about the nuances of the outfield dimensions to prepare for any potential surprises.
"There are challenges in every stadium you go to -- the crowd aspect, the walls, surfaces, things like that," Robinson said. "Every time we travel, we go through these things and communicate with guys about what might be different compared to what we're used to. They've talked about the shortstop coming out to left [field], because the ball can take different bounces off the wall and how the center fielder has to be ready to back up on bounces."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.