Right-hander Kyle McClellan's
starting debut in the major leagues was a success on many counts Tuesday,
although he wasn't the winning pitcher in the Cardinals' 3-2 victory over the
Pirates at Busch Stadium.
McClellan, a 26-year-old
St. Louisan, had made 202 consecutive relief appearances for the Cardinals in
three previous seasons, but he was moved out of the bullpen to take injured
right-hander Adam Wainwright's rotation spot. He survived Lyle Overbay's first-inning two-run homer and held
two runs over six innings, striking out seven and throwing 60 strikes out of 95
"He got a breaking ball
up for a two-run homer, but he had the mental toughness to put that behind him
and crank out all those zeros. That was very impressive," manager Tony La Russa
said. "I thought he handled himself really well.
"He's a very good major
The Cardinals, still
playing without left fielder Matt Holliday, who is recovering from an
appendectomy, scored three runs or fewer for the fifth straight game. That
hadn't happened to a Cardinals team at the start of a season since
But at least the table
was set. The top two hitters in the lineup, shortstop Ryan Theriot and center
fielder Colby Rasmus, each reached base three times. And first baseman Albert Pujols, still hitting only .167, delivered with a sacrifice fly and a
"If we do a great job of
creating opportunities, then we'll find a way to score our share of runs," La
Russa said. "Albert isn't himself at the plate, but he cranks out two very tough
Apr. 6 vs. PIRATES: Chris Carpenter (0-0, 2.57) vs. Kevin Correia (1-0, 3.00)
12:45 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, MLB Network, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
CF Colby Rasmus has
reached base 11 times in five games for an on-base percentage of .550. Rasmus is
known more for his run-production than for his table-setting, but he said,
"You've got to go what you've got to do. I'm going to try to do anything I can.
If I can hit a home run … or do what I did tonight—get on with a base
LF Matt Holliday, who has
begun baseball activities after having had an appendectomy Friday, will not go
on the 15-day disabled list, manager Tony La Russa said. That means Holliday
likely will appear at some point during the Cardinals' 10-game trip to San Francisco, Arizona and
Los Angeles that
begins Friday. Holliday played catch and ran sprints Tuesday, and he expects to
take batting practice Wednesday. The team has discussed the possibility of him
pinch-hitting before he resumes play in the field. The outfielder said he felt
significantly better Tuesday than he had a couple of days
RHP Miguel Batista gained
his first Cardinals win at age 40. Batista, LHP Trever Miller and RHP Ryan Franklin worked three scoreless innings Tuesday.
RF Lance Berkman got his
first extra-base hit as a Cardinal with a fourth-inning double. Berkman, who
labored this spring with elbow and calf injuries and a subsequent .182 average,
has swung the bat well and run the bases aggressively in the first week of the
RHP Kyle McClellan had
appeared in 202 consecutive big-league games as a reliever before Tuesday,
although he had started all spring. McClellan was 4-0 as a starter in Grapefruit
League play, but he said, "This is a lot different. They count. There's
definitely a lot more on your shoulders." He limited the Pirates to two runs in
six effective innings Tuesday but got a no-decision.
BY THE NUMBERS: 143 -
Attempted base-stealers caught by backup C Gerald Laird since 2006. Laird, who
nabbed one Tuesday, leads all big-league catchers in that time
QUOTE TO NOTE: "People
probably don't give him enough credit for how tough he is between the
- Manager Tony La Russa, on 1B Albert
Pujols, who, still off with his swing, nonetheless drove in two runs with a
bouncing single and a sacrifice fly Tuesday.
-- LF Matt Holliday (appendectomy)
underwent the procedure April 1. He played catch and ran sprints April 5, and he
expects to take batting practice April 6. He should return to the Cardinals
before April 16.
--RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John
surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will
miss the entire 2011 season.
--INF Nick Punto (hernia surgery
in February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He
hopes to return in late April.