6/29/2014 10:02 P.M. ET
Matheny wants to see Cards bunt to beat shift
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez may lead the Dodgers in homers and RBIs, but it was his decision to foil a defensive shift by dropping a bunt in the fourth inning that started to complicate Shelby Miller's start.
Afterward, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he wishes his players would do the same more often.
The bunt didn't have to be perfectly placed, as the only Cardinals defender on the left side of the infield was shortstop Jhonny Peralta. But it was perfectly timed. Gonzalez tallied his team's first hit off Miller, and Yasiel Puig advanced to second with no out. Both runners scored in the Dodgers' 6-0 win.
Gonzalez estimated afterward that he had squared to bunt 10 times over the past two weeks in an effort to exploit the opponent's defensive positioning. This was the first time he dropped one down.
"I'd do it every time if there's not a man in scoring position," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Continue to get on base, and force them -- they're not just going to keep giving you a hit every time. They'll move that guy over, and how many balls does he hit right at the shortstop when they're playing over?"
The Cardinals have encouraged their players, particularly Matt Adams, to do the same when the defense leaves that much of the infield unmanned. Adams faces the most frequent and exaggerated shifts of any Cardinals batter.
"Do it one time and make everybody aware of it," Matheny said. "It's not like it's a secret. We've been talking about it since Spring Training and practicing. Some guys just don't feel comfortable doing it. We've had a bunch of good spots where Matt had that whole side open. ... He's continuing to work on it. He just hasn't had success. Every time he's done it, he's fouling it off into their dugout. It's just not something he has confidence in at this point."
Matheny readies All-Star roster choices
LOS ANGELES -- With Major League Baseball a week away from announcing its All-Star Game rosters, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is busy preparing for his duty of naming the additional National League reserves and Final Vote candidates.
Matheny said he has already begun compiling a list of deserving players at each position, as well as looked ahead to which pitchers may be unable to participate in the game because they are starting on the final Sunday before the break. He has remained in regular contact, too, with the league office, which keeps him abreast on fan voting totals more often than they are publically released.
Matheny expects to know the results of the player/manager/coach vote midweek and will learn of the final fan vote numbers a few days later. He is then responsible for filling out the rest of the roster and making sure every team is represented.
"You can start guessing along with who might be voted with the players and match that up with the fan vote and then break it down team by team," Matheny said. "I have enjoyed doing that."
He said some other NL managers have begun lobbying for particular players through "various mediums," and Matheny expects to hear from some directly this week. With MLB executive and former manager Joe Torre stopping by Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Matheny took the opportunity to ask Torre a few procedural questions about the All-Star Game.
"He's always had a door wide open," Matheny said. "I'm sure I'll be calling him again before that time comes just getting some general ideas about putting a roster together and some of the other things he has done a time or two. "
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15, on FOX.
• With six other available relievers, the Cardinals opted to add righty Jorge Rondon to the bullpen on Sunday instead of plucking a starter from Triple-A. If needed, Rondon should be able to give the Cardinals a two-inning appearance out of the 'pen. Rondon arrived at Dodger Stadium about 90 minutes before Sunday's scheduled first pitch.
• With three hits in five career at-bats against Clayton Kershaw, Shane Robinson earned a start against the Dodgers lefty in Sunday's game. The start is the first for Robinson since he was recalled on June 22. The only left-handed-hitting batter in Sunday's lineup was leadoff man Matt Carpenter.
• Nick Greenwood was unavailable out of the bullpen on Sunday after throwing 53 pitches in a four-inning relief appearance the day before. The Cardinals do believe, though, that Greenwood will need just two days of rest before he's ready to pitch again.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.