Wednesday tidbits: Ryan, callups, Pujols, clinch plans

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from what could be clinch night at Minute Maid Park.

* Brendan Ryan was out again tonight. He’s still dealing with stiffness and soreness in the pinkie finger on his left hand, a result of a slide about a week ago. Ryan feels he’s playable, but TLR sees no reason to push him.

* Four callups arrived today: David Freese, Tyler Greene, Josh Kinney and Matt Pagnozzi. Don’t expect any of them to see a great deal of playing time. TLR made it very clear that priority one, once the Cardinals clinch, is to get ready for the playoffs. So the callups’ primary purpose will be to aid in that. The problem is that with two off days between now and next Sunday, there’s not an overwhelming need to give rests to the regulars. So they’ll get an at-bat/inning here and there, but the opportunities will be limited.

As for the guys who didn’t get called up, TLR pointed to both 40-man roster considerations (neither Allen Craig nor Royce Ring is on the 40) as well as opportunity. He just didn’t think either guy would get enough work to justify bringing them in.

Personally, I’d have liked to see them make an opportunity for Craig, who ideally will have a role on the 2010 team. But I don’t make the decisions. Obviously.

* A day after he was removed as a precaution due to a “jammed” wrist, Albert Pujols was back in the lineup as expected.

* If the Cardinals somehow clinch the division tomorrow night, which is possible, the club has no special plans. If both St. Louis and Chicago win tonight, or if they both lose, the magic number will be one. The Cubs play tomorrow night in San Francisco, so in a case like that, a Cubs loss against the Giants would salt away the division.

However, TLR and a couple of players said there are no plans for a group outing or anything like that if the number is one.

“We’re going to take a day off,” the manager said, “and not worry about it. … It happened to us [in Oakland] in ’92. We clinched during an off day. it’s not worth messing with guys’ plans. It’s better at the ballpark. We’d do it after the game Friday.”

Today’s playlist:
Electronic, “Idiot Country”
Radiohead, “My Iron Lung”
Aimee Mann, “You Could Make a Killing”
Buffalo Tom, “Rules”
Everclear, “The Twistinside”

-M.

5 Comments

Seemed like Molina wasn’t running hard at all when Smoltz was trying to bunt him over to 2nd…ended up being a DP. Has Molina been instructed to not run hard?

TLR keeps putting Ankiel up at the plate. Wish Tony would take pity on him and let him sit out the rest of the season. Ank has struck out 10 of his last 17 AB’s. Maybe they are trying to decide if he stays on the roster for the playoffs, but it’s probably a lock since they only carry 4 outfielders.

The Cardinals can’t seem to give John Smoltz any run support again tonight. I hope they are able to score more run than they have recently in the playoffs. Go Cards.

After 18 runs and 30 hits the last 2 days, you just knew this team was going to have a power outage today…always seems to happen, especially with Bud Morris owning us again. I don’t know how this guy morphs into Cy Young when he faces us.
Smoltz deserved this one.

At least Smoltz has the satisfaction that it isn’t HIS fault. He has to feel pretty good really about how he has pitched for the Cards and his prospects for post season play.

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