September 2011

Wednesday lineups

1. Furcal SS
2. Craig LF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Berkman RF
5. Freese 3B
6. Jay CF
7. Molina C
8. Schumaker 2B
9. Garcia P

1. Reyes SS
2. Pagan CF
3. Wright 3B
4. Duda RF
5. Evans 1B
6. Harris LF
7. Paulino C
8. Turner 2B
9. Schwinden P


Tuesday lineup

Holliday is listed among the bench players, but in parentheses to indicate he is not available.

Cardinals lineup:
1. Furcal SS
2. Craig
3. Pujols 1B
4. Berkman
5. Freese 3B
6. Jay CF
7. Molina C
8. Schumaker 2B
9. Jackson P

No positions are listed next to Craig and Berkman. Assuming Craig LF and Berkman RF, but not listed at this moment.


Holliday update

The Cardinals will shut Matt Holliday down for the remainder of their current road trip after learning that the outfielder has inflammation of a tendon in his right middle finger.


Holliday returned to St. Louis on Wednesday to have his injured right hand examined, and the club learned the results of the evaluation late Wednesday afternoon. Holliday was removed from Tuesday’s win over the Pirates in the ninth inning after he felt pain in the hand while taking a practice swing.


“He will need four or five days of no gripping and will be re-evaluated early next week,” general manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday afternoon.


“Obviously the fact that he’s having to be shut down is a concern. So in terms of me trying to gauge where it is next week, I don’t think I want to do that. We’re hopeful he can still play again this year, but that will be determined next week.”


Allen Craig started in place of Holliday on Wednesday and is likely to get the bulk of the starts in left field for however long Holliday is out. The Cardinals do not intend to make a roster move for additional outfield depth in Holliday’s absence.



Furcal out with “mild strain” of left knee

The Cardinals’ trip to PNC Park has turned quite painful. Less than a day after Matt Holliday suffered a right hand injury, Rafael Furcal was removed from Wednesday’s game against the Pirates due to a left knee injury.


Furcal slid awkwardly into second base on a stolen base attempt in the fifth inning. The Pirates had a pitchout called on the play, helping catcher Michael McKenry to throw out the speedy Furcal. The Cardinals announced later in the game that Furcal suffered a “mild strain of his left knee” and that removing him from the game was precautionary.


However, the out was the least of the Cards’ worries, as Furcal did not return to the game in the next half-inning.



Holliday has hand injury

Matt Holliday was removed from the Cardinals’ game against the Pirates in the ninth inning on Tuesday night due to a still somewhat undetermined right hand injury.


Holliday was taking practice swings before what would have been his final at-bat when he felt pain in his hand and couldn’t continue swinging. Corey Patterson batted for him.


“I did something to my hand taking a swing,” said Holliday. “It’s a ligament or a tendon problem. I was just swinging a bat and I couldn’t swing it anymore.”


Holliday said he does not have a broken bone, but that beyond that it’s not yet clear what the issue is. He expects to know more on Wednesday morning.



Carpenter hopes to have announcement tomorrow

Chris Carpenter just spoke briefly in the clubhouse and indicated without specifically saying that there’s likely to be an announcement tomorrow. Here’s what he had to say:

“I’m not going to say yes or no. There’s obviously something going on, but it’s not 100 percent done yet and I don’t want to jinx it.

“I’m sure that tomorrow — or I’m hoping that tomorrow — I’ll have a lot more to say about it.”

(but this hypothetical thing would be good news for you?)
“Absolutely. No question about it. I’ve said all along that I wanted to be here, and hopefully we’ll get this done and I’ll be able to be here for a while.”


Carpenter clarifies

Chris Carpenter felt he needed to make a point this afternoon.

Shortly after the clubhouse opened, Chris Carpenter called a couple of reporters over to his locker to clarify his explanation of the events from Wednesday night. It had been reported (including on that Carpenter did not say anything at the beginning of the incident that led to Nyjer Morgan being ejected, and Carpenter wanted to make it known that that wasn’t the case.

Carpenter acknowledged that, after he struck out Morgan, he did in fact yell a profanity from the mound before turning and walking away. That, in turn, was followed by Morgan saying more than a couple of words. Albert Pujols made his way over from first base in hopes, Pujols said, of keeping Carpenter from getting into any kind of trouble in the midst of a shutout. The benches and dugouts emptied. The disagreement never turned into a fight, but it wasn’t pretty. And Morgan was tossed.

As coverage of the incident went on over the past couple of days, Carpenter was portrayed as having denied he said anything at all at the start of the exchange. He said Friday that he did not want to be misrepresented. He did offer a profanity in Morgan’s direction.

But Carpenter wanted to make another point in tandem with that admission. He noted that while he said something once to Morgan, Morgan said a lot of things, repeatedly, over the course of Wednesday night and in prior starts as well. Each time, he ignored it, until he struck out the Milwaukee outfielder in what will be their final head-to-head plate appearance of 2011.

His point: while in that specific incident, Carpenter did speak first, that specific incident did not occur in a vacuum. It was the continuation of a lengthy series of exchanges in which Morgan was the aggressor and the first one to speak.


Cardinals on the… festivities

My friend and colleague Adam McCalvy has a blog post up with what the Brewers had to say tonight. And a little later at and, there will be a longer story that covers the whole incident during the ninth inning tonight.


In the meantime, though, here are what the principal Cardinals had to say after the game:


TLR: “Rarely do I comment about another player, because it’s not appropriate. Milwaukee should comment about their players and we should comment about ours. But he [Nyjer Morgan] is having a good year for them, he’s a talented guy, but he’s close to the edge as far as creating problems and trouble. It takes away from the player that he’s been for them or wherever he’s been with his fuse being so short and actually looking for things to instigate. So I hope he gets a clue. And he probably is going to get upset, or somebody will, that I gave advice, but it’s the truth. It’s the truth. He could be the player he is without instigating.”

Carpenter: “I don’t know. I’m not going to go there. He’s a good player who plays with some serious talent. He just plays the game a different way.

(could you hear him talking?) “I didn’t know anything was going on until I heard Albert.”

(did you realize he’d thrown his chew at you?) “I didn’t see that until the replay.”

“I’m not concerned about it to be honest with you. … I’m not going to play his game. There’s a certain way to compete and a certain way not to compete. He competes hard but he does it in a different manner, which is unfortunate because it takes away from what kind of player he is. He is a really good player.”

(were you consciously staying out of it as the benches cleared?) “Well, the umpire came up and was like, ‘Don’t go in there.’ I didn’t really know what was going on, and then the umpire came in and was like, ‘Don’t go over there.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to waste my time with that.’ I’m just not going to waste my time with it.”

(was it hard to maintain or regain your focus?) “I was focused on what I was doing. I was focused on executing pitches and I’m not going to allow him to take me out of my game. He was yelling at me at second base. He was yelling at me down the line when he hit the double. The whole game he’s screaming and yelling, the whole game. I’m not going to allow it [getting distracted] to happen. I don’t know if that’s the way he plays, to try to get guys out of their game or what. But I’ve been around too long to allow that to happen, I can tell you that much.”

Pujols: “Last game of the series, of the season with those guys, we’ve been playing great [games] all year, and I have so much respect for those guys on the other side. They play the game hard every time and yeah, you’ve got about a month ago a couple of miscommunications, couple of guys getting hit by pitches, myself and Braun, but when that is over, you flip the page. I just got in the middle to make sure that Morgan didn’t jump on Carp. The last thing you want is our guy that’s trying a shutout game to lose his focus.

“I actually like that guy [Morgan]. I don’t mind having a guy like that on my team. He brings a lot of energy to the ballclub, and you want to have a guy like that. But sometimes I think he goes [a little overboard] and tries to put too much energy. I remember when he came up with Pittsburgh, the guy just played the game, played hard all the time, never talks. And now you wonder why he’s been on three different ballclubs the last year and a half, you know?”

(note: Pujols actually said “over the little board,” but obviously he meant “a little overboard.”)

(Carpenter said he was yelling all night) “Every time. every time. When he hit that double he was screaming. Yesterday he screamed, a couple days ago when he hit that… Which I don’t mind. Do whatever you want. But when you strike out like that and try to throw the chew the mound to our pitcher and yell, come on man. You need to be more professional than that.

“I’m nobody to judge, because I’ve made my mistakes sometimes so I’m not going to throw the first rock. Everybody’s got their own issues. all I have to worry about is myself, take care of myself. I don’t care what anybody else does in this game.”


Wednesday tidbits: Sanchez, weekend rotation, Freese and more

Greetings on another stunningly beautiful day at Busch Stadium. The temperature reads 77 degrees, I can see exactly one cloud from my perch up here, and there’s just not going to be a nicer night for a ballgame all year.

A few tidbits for your reading pleasure before I spin them into a notebook on the site:

* Eduardo Sanchez threw a fairly aggressive bullpen session today, more like a simulated game, in which he sat down in between “innings” and got back up to throw again. Sanchez feels he’s very close to being ready — maybe only one more throw. TLR sounds, not surprisingly, a little more cautious but still expects him to pitch this season.

* This weekend’s rotation is Edwin Jackson on Friday, Jaime Garcia on Saturday and Jake Westbrook on Sunday, followed by Lohse and Carpenter to start the Pirates series. Jackson pitches on his four days’ rest, Garcia on six, and the other pitchers will all be on five days’ rest.

* David Freese sits again, with TLR noting that he’s slumping and that facing Zack Greinke isn’t exactly the way to get out of a slump.

* Tyler Greene will likely get a start over the weekend against Atlanta.

Today’s playlist is an iPhone shuffle special:
Depeche Mode, “Nothing”
Sugar, “Gee Angel”
Papercuts, “I’ll See You Later I Guess”
Cold War Kids, “Welcome to the Occupation”
Counting Crows, “Have You Seen Me Lately”


Wednesday lineups

1. Furcal SS
2. Jay CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman RF
6. Schumaker 2B
7. Molina C
8. Descalso 3B
9. Carpenter P

1. Hart RF
2. Morgan CF
3. Braun LF
4. Fielder 1B
5. McGehee 3B
6. Green 2B
7. Betancourt SS
8. Lucroy C
9. Greinke P