As the Cardinals try to figure out
their postseason roster, infielder Khalil Greene, the club's starting shortstop
and cleanup hitter on opening day, must be wondering exactly what's in store for
Sunday, when manager Tony La Russa
rolled out a makeshift lineup because of injury and illness, Greene wasn't in it
but September call-up David Freese was, playing third base. Freese had been
playing regularly and hitting well at Class AAA Memphis, La Russa
"He's had it going while Khalil
hasn't been playing as regularly. I would say his best role for us will continue
to be coming off the bench," said La Russa.
Greene, who has had two tenures on
the disabled list as he has coped with a social anxiety disorder, has had just
36 at-bats (eight hits) since returning Aug. 1 from his second stay on the DL.
"I'm just trying to keep myself ready for however I may be used," said Greene.
"There's not much else to say."
Freese also started the season
with the Cardinals before being sent back to Memphis and then having ankle
surgery to take care of an injury suffered in a January auto accident in his
native St. Louis. Freese technically isn't eligible for the playoffs unless
somebody is disabled, such as third baseman Troy Glaus.
Glaus has had just 17 at-bats for
the Cardinals, the result mostly of a slow recovery from January right shoulder
although he also has had back issues and now a strained left oblique. According
to La Russa, Glaus could resurface for the team's final road series beginning
Tuesday in Cincinnati.
"He has a chance to be there. He's
been doing a lot of treatment," La Russa said. "I've been told he's been doing
stuff all weekend, and that means there's a chance. He's pushing to do more
Glaus hasn't played since Sept.
12, when he hurt himself trying to check his swing. The Cardinals previously
held out hope Glaus could serve as a right-handed bat off the bench in the
--C Yadier Molina was joined in
injury dry dock Sunday by SS Brendan Ryan, who had to come out of the game in
the fourth inning after having his right index finger nicked by a pitch while he
was trying to bunt. Molina had to exit the previous night's game when a bunt
attempt by Colorado 2B Clint Barmes glanced off the shin
guard protecting his left knee. Molina nonetheless suffered a significant
bruise, and manager Tony La Russa had doubt Molina would be ready for the team's
next game, Tuesday in Cincinnati. But Molina said, "It will be
--LF Matt Holliday was sick with
the flu, so manager Tony La Russa started an odd outfield configuration Sunday
against Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa. They were all right-handed hitters, but
only Ryan Ludwick really had played much outfield this year. Ludwick was moved
from right field to left. Mark DeRosa, who has played outfield in the past, went
from third base to right field, and INF Tyler Greene played center field (for
three innings) for the first time since high school. La Russa kept
left-handed-hitting OFs Colby Rasmus and Rick Ankiel on the bench at the start
of the game because La Russa said, "I don't think we're competitive against (De
La Rosa) if one of our left-handed hitters has to play center
--3B David Freese, a St. Louisan
who opened the season on the roster, got his first start Sunday since being
brought back from Class AAA Memphis. He fanned twice and had an infield hit in
--RHP Adam Wainwright's sturdy,
130-pitch effort over eight innings Saturday -- he stranded two runners in his
last inning -- netted him his 19th win as the Cardinals clinched the NL Central
title but also the admiration of his teammates. "If that game didn't win Adam
the Cy Young Award," RHP Chris Carpenter said, "then I want to know who's
Carpenter (16-4) is in the running
for the Cy Young Award, too, but it sounded as if he were conceding to
Wainwright (19-8). Both have one start remaining before they go into the
playoffs, with Wainwright likely to pitch Game 2 in the postseason and Carpenter
Game 1. Even manager Tony La Russa said, "He may have won the (Cy Young) award
in that eighth inning."
--1B Albert Pujols has set the
National League record for assists in a season with 183. The former record was
180 by the Cubs' Mark Grace in 1990. Pujols stands just one behind Boston's Bill Buckner
(1985) for the major league record.
BY THE NUMBERS: 37-18 --
Cardinals' record in the first 55 games LF Matt Holliday played for
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I nit-pick. But I
feel the progress I'm making is pretty darn good." -- RHP John Smoltz, after his
sixth of six straight good starts for the Cardinals.
--LF Matt Holliday, who came out
in the eighth inning of Saturday's division-clinching game in Colorado and
missed Sunday's game with a cold and the flu, should be ready to play Tuesday.
Holliday said he actually could have played on Sunday "if it was the
--C Yadier Molina is hopeful of
returning to action in the three-game series against the Reds but admits he
doubts it will happen in Tuesday's opener. Molina was hit on the left knee by a
fouled bunt attempt on Saturday night and suffered significant swelling on the
--RHP Joel Pineiro can tie his
season high in victories at 16 when he faces the Reds on Tuesday night. Pineiro,
15-11 this year, was 16-11 for Seattle in 2003.
--RHP John Smoltz probably will
get his last regular-season start Wednesday in Cincinnati as he continues his
bid to be in the four-man postseason rotation.
--C Matt Pagnozzi figures to see
some playing time before the season is over. Pagnozzi, a rookie, is the nephew
of former Cardinals Gold Glove C Tom Pagnozzi.
LF Matt Holliday (flu) did not
play Sept. 27 but expects to return Sept. 29.
SS Brendan Ryan (bruised right
index finger) left the Sept. 27 game.
C Yadier Molina (sore left knee)
left the Sept. 26 game, and he didn't play Sept. 27. He is
3B Troy Glaus (pulled left oblique
muscle) has not played since Sept. 12. He is out