Tuesday lineups and notes (Randy Johnson vs Chris Carpenter)

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Greetings
from the Busch Stadium press box. Should be a great pitchers duel tonight as
former Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson and Chris Carpenter toe the rubber
for their respective clubs. Its a beautiful day for baseball and I get excited
coming to the park on days like today.

First, the lineups:

Giants (41-34)

Aaron Rowand CF
Randy Winn LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Bengie Molina C
Nate Schierholtz RF
Edgar Renteria SS
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Juan Uribe 2B
Randy Johnson P

Cardinals (41-37)

Brendan Ryan SS
Mark DeRosa 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Ryan Ludwick RF
Yadier Molina C
Rick Ankiel CF
Tyler Greene 2B
Chris Carpenter P
Joe Thurston LF

Cardinals Notes:

*Per the lineups above, Joe Thurston is starting in LF and Mark DeRosa at 3B.
Tony La Russa was asked about why not play Thurston at 3B and DeRosa in left,
and his response was that DeRosa would be playing most of the time at third so
he wanted him to concentrate on that.

*The same can be said about Brendan Ryan playing SS and Tyler Greene playing 2B
instead of what seems to make more sense, switching them and having Ryan play
2B and Greene play at short. La Russa said that Ryan would be getting most of
the playing time at SS if he stays healthy and he didn’t want to mess with him
playing other spots.

*Colby Rasmus was available to play but not in the lineup with the lefty
Johnson on the hill. Tony hinted that he would start tomorrow. Yadier Molina
was back in the lineup after missing two games because of a brusied thigh. I
went into more detail on both of these in a story for stlcardinals.com that
should be posted shortly.

Thats all for now, heading down to get some grub. Enjoy the game. Pitching
matchups like these don’t come around often.

-B.J. Rains

Giants-Cards lineups – Mortensen promoted from AAA

Giants (40-34)

Aaron Rowand CF
Randy Winn LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Bengie Molina C
Nate Schierholtz RF
Edgar Renteria SS
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Juan Uribe 2B
Tim Lincecum P

Cardinals (41-36)

Skip Schumaker 2B
Mark DeRosa 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Ryan Ludwick RF
Chris Duncan LF
Rick Ankiel CF
Jason LaRue C
Brad Thompson P
Brendan Ryan SS

Umpires: Mark Carlson (HP), Tim Tschida (1B), Bob Davidson (2B), Todd Tichenor (3B)

*The Cardinals have promoted pitcher Clayton Mortensen from triple-A Memphis  and put IF Khalil Greene on the 15-day disabled list with anxiety issues. More coming after we head down to the clubhouse and we get a story posted on stlcardinals.com.

*Also, Kyle Lohse is in the bullpen throwing a side session and looks set to start on Thursday in Springfield. More on that coming on stlcardinals.com as well.

-B.J. Rains

Sunday Twins-Cards lineups, notes

Twins (38-38)

Denard Span 8
Brendan Harris 6
Joe Mauer 2
Justin Morneau 3
Jason Kubel 7
Michael Cuddyer 9
Joe Crede 5
Matt Tolbert 4
Francisco Liriano 1

Cardinals (41-35)

Skip Schumaker 4
Khalil Greene 5
Albert Pujols 3
Mark DeRosa 7
Ryan Ludwick 9
Rick Ankiel 8
Jason LaRue  2
Joel Pineiro 1
Tyler Greene 6

CARDINALS NOTES:

*I stopped by the Cardinals clubhouse this morning to see if Mark DeRosa had arrived and he took the first flight out of Cleveland and was at the ballpark before 9am. I saw him shaking hands and meeting some of the younger players whom he hadn’t met before. He said he was pretty tired but that he would make it through.

*Tyler Greene was excited that he was hitting ninth and not seventh. He said hitting in front of the pitcher, who hits eighth in the Cardinals lineup, was one of the hardest spots to hit because you don’t know when they are going to try and pitch around you and when they will go right after you. He said when he was called up the first time earlier this year, he really struggled as he tried to learn how to bat in front of the pitcher. He also said that the ball that hit him in the head last night just grazed his helmet and that he was fine. Greene did say that he watched it on video and that it was a little scary. He was expecting the pitch to break back away from him but that never happened.

TWINS NOTES:

*Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had planned to start Michael Cuddyer at second base today but decided against it when he heard that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took some offense to his slide into home plate on Saturday. Had he put Cuddyer at second, Cardinals runners could have turned him into a target and slid hard into him during potential double plays as payback.
“That’s why I’m not putting him at second,” Gardenhire said Sunday morning. “I can’t make him a dart board out there. If they thought that he slid hard or something bad there, I don’t know how that goes into the thought process of Yadi if Cuddy is playing second. I’m not going to make him a dart board. I’m not taking that chance.I don’t want any extracurricular activity today. It’s a nice Sunday in St. Louis.”

*Nick Punto is not in the starting lineup for the 5th straight game as he continues to battle some pain in his ribs. Full details, including when he might return, in my story on twinsbaseball.com that should be posted shortly.

*Gardenhire is thrilled that Interleague Play is over. He is not a fan at all. I will have more on that in my preview for tomorrow’s Twins matchup in KC agaisnt the Royals.

That’s all for now. Have a good afternoon and try to stay cool.

-B.J. Rains

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Saturday lineups and notes

Its a hot and humid day here at Busch Stadium with temperatures expected to reach close to 100 degrees in St. Louis. City officials asked the Cardinals earlier in the week  to move today and Sunday’s games to night games to try and avoid the worst of the heat but the Cardinals and MLB were unable to move the times on such short notice.

The lineups:

Twins (38-37)

Span 8
Harris 6
Morneau 3
Kubel 7
Cuddyer 9
Crede 5
Redmond 2
Tolbert 4
Slowey 1

Cardinals (40-35)

Schumaker 4
Rasmus 8
Pujols 3
Duncan 7
Molina 2
Ankiel 9
T.Greene 6
Wellemeyer 1
Thurston 5

*Twins catcher Joe Mauer was given the day off on Saturday after catching the game last night. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he would have DH’d the slugger if he was playing in the American League. He also said it wasn’t a day off – he just wasn’t starting.  Look for him to pinch hit if the Twins have a chance to win the game.

*Today’s pitcher Kevin Slowey is looking for his American League leading 11th win of the season. Only two Twins pitchers in the past 30 years reached double-digit wins faster than him.

*Last night’s game was the eighth time that Twins pitchers did not allow a walk. The Cardinals lead MLB with nine walkless games.

*St. Louisian Gerry Davis is the crewchief of the umpiring crew in town for the weekend series. He will ump second base today.

Thats all for now. Enjoy the game and try to stay cool.

-B.J. Rains

Friday lineups and notes, Twins at Cardinals

Twins ( 37-37)

Span 8
Harris 6
Mauer 2
Morneau 3
Kubel 7
Cuddyer 9
Crede 5
Tolbert 4
Perkins 1

Cardinals (40-34)

Schumaker 4
Rasmus 8
Pujols 3
Ludwick 9
Ankiel 7
Molina 2
Thurston 5
Wainwright 1
T. Greene 6

Twins notes:

*Nick Punto is back with the team after having an MRI in Minnesota on Thursday to check on his sore ribs. Nothing was found to be wrong and Punto hopes to be able to play on Sunday. He took some swings off the tee on Friday afternoon but didn’t take batting practice with the team. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said ‘I doubt it’ when asked if Punto would appear in the series.

*The home plate umpire for Friday’s game is Todd Tichenor, who made headlines when he ejected Gardenhire and Joe Mauer of the Twins as well as the Red Sox’ Terry Francona and Jason Veretek in the Metrodome on May 28. The Twins lost that game 3-1.

*Several Twins players have family and friends in St. Louis for the weekend. Joe Mauer has his host family from when he was in Joplin, Missouri, for a National Tournament years ago in town for the series. St. Louisian Bobby Keppel, who was called up three days ago, will have close to 50 family andf friends in attendance for the series. Joe Crede, another local product, has had several ticket requests as well.

*The Temperature was 95 degrees at 5:15 when the Twins took the field for batting practice.

-B.J. Rains

Welcome

Greetings and thanks for checking out my new blog. As an associate reporter for MLB.com, I cover the Cardinals but also some of the away teams that come to St. Louis. If the opposing team’s beat reporter doesn’t make the trip, I fill in and cover them for the series. I will be doing that this weekend when I cover the Twins as they make a trip to STL.

Feel free to email me with questions, comments or suggestions. I want this blog to be a spot of news for Cardinals fans but also for some news on other teams around baseball. I am excited about starting it and I guess we will just see where it goes.
Adam Wainwright against Glen Perkins tomorrow night at Busch. Talk to you then.
-B.J. Rains