Saturday afternoon lineup and tidbits: Hawksworth up, Todd down
It’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon/evening in downtown StL. Let’s get on with the tidbits…
* Blake Hawksworth was recalled from Triple-A Memphis today, with Jess Todd being optioned back to Memphis. It sounds very much as though Hawksworth would have been called two days ago, but he wasn’t available because he’d started so recently. Now, Hawksworth is on his regular fifth day, and available to pitch immediately.
Hawksworth steps in as the long reliever that Todd was not conditioned to be.
“Whenever there’s an inning that needs to be pitched, or two innings, or five innings,” TLR said when asked about Hawksworth’s role. “It’s exactly what we do with Brad [Thompson]. He can pitch in a game we’re winning. He can pitch in a game we’re losing. He can pitch at any time. He may have to make an adjustment to his warmup. He’s a typical starter who has a starting routine. But he’ll make the adjustment.”
In 10 starts at Memphis, Hawksworth was 5-4 with a 3.92 ERA. More encouragingly, and more tellingly, he had 51 strikeouts against 19 walks in 62 innings, and he’d only allowed three home runs. Over his last five starts, he had 33 strikeouts and six walks.
* Jason LaRue is catching again tonight, but TLR said that it has nothing to do with who’s pitching. He said Yadier Molina is getting an extra day to recover from being hit in the head by Todd Helton’s bat on Friday night.
“His bell got really rung yesterday by Helton,” La Russa said. “It stung him. So I’m going to give him a day. Yadi was catching this guy today. But I thought when you put everything together, I’d rather give him a day to clear his head.”
Molina is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday. TLR said that Molina had been checked out and was found not to have a concussion.
* The starters remain unchanged for the next two days. Joel Pineiro is on track to start Sunday’s game, with Thompson going on Monday. And remember, Monday is a day game.
* Today’s lineup vs. RHP Aaron Cook:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Ankiel CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Ludwick RF
5. Duncan LF
6. LaRue C
7. Thurston 3B
8. Wellemeyer P
9. T.Greene SS
TLR said that Ankiel is in the two spot in large part because he’s had success against Cook.
Today’s playlist, with a Colorado flavor:
Dressy Bessy, “Side 2″
Big Head Todd and the Monsters, “Bittersweet”
Jill Sobule, “I Kissed a Girl”
U2, “Gloria” (live at Red Rocks, of course)