Cardinals Major League Notebook: 04/07/11

Manager Tony La Russa lost his cool when questioned about his 2-4 team's struggles on offense following Wednesday's home loss to Pittsburgh.



   The kinder, gentler Tony La Russa that he had promised for the media in the offseason lasted about a week.


   After his team's 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh Wednesday, marking the Cardinals' second straight series loss of the season, manager La Russa lashed out at continued questions about an offense that has scored only 15 runs in six games.


   After tersely answering several questions, La Russa lost his patience in a news conference that was being televised.


   "For everybody listening out there, you think I'm being unreasonable?" La Russa asked. "It's the first week of the season (voice getting louder). I don't understand this.


   "Are you going to tell me Yadier (Molina) doesn't drive in big runs? Are you going to tell me Albert (Pujols) can't hit? Are you going to tell me the second baseman and shortstop haven't hit? David Freese? You don't think he's going to hit? You think Matt (Holliday) is gong to hit? You think Colby (Rasmus) is going to hit? You think (Lance) Berkman is going to hit? The answer is 'No' to all those things?'


   "Did you (media) accomplish your goal? Three, four times, you ask so I get excited and get upset? That's not fair. It really isn't."


   And La Russa walked off.


   Earlier, in a more measured tone, La Russa had said, "Look at the calendar for one thing. It's the first week of the season. Second, you look at the talent we have. Just do things right, a little better."


   But La Russa admitted, "We didn't have a big scoring homestand."

Link to boxscore

Next game: Fri., Apr. 8 at GIANTS: Jake Westbrook (0-1, 16.62) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 3.18) 3:35 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network)



   --LF Matt Holliday hit indoors for the first time since he had an appendectomy on Friday. He will be re-examined on Thursday before the team heads to San Francisco for the start of a 10-game trip on which Holliday is expected to play at some point.

   --RHP Chris Carpenter has no wins and one loss to show for his first 13 innings in which he has given up only three earned runs. Carpenter permitted one earned run, Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker's home run, in six innings on Wednesday although he allowed eight hits. "I think he pitched very effectively," manager Tony La Russa said. Carpenter had beaten the Pirates 10 consecutive times since 2004 before suffering the loss on Wednesday. He is 11-2 against Pittsburgh for in career.

   --RF Lance Berkman, who was injured and then hit .182 in spring training, finished his first week as a Cardinal with a .300 average. He is leading the team in runs with five. "I expect to hit; I don't know why I wouldn't," said Berkman. "I know maybe the last couple of years haven't been as good as I was four or five years ago. But there's no reason why I can't be a good, productive hitter. I'm relatively healthy, which I haven't been in a while."

   --LHP Brian Tallet has retired all eight hitters he has faced in his first week in the National League. Tallet and LHP Trever Miller have been the most  impressive Cardinals relievers, giving up one total hit in 3 2/3 innings.

   --The Cardinals have a streak of six games, the only ones they've played this season, in which they have scored three or fewer runs. They have 15 runs, averaging 2.5 a game.

   BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of runs batted in for C Yadier Molina on only three hits. Each of his hits has driven in a run,

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm not ancient yet. I'm older. I'm not 40. I'm 35." -- RF Lance Berkman, one of the few Cardinals to have started quickly.




   --LF Matt Holliday (appendectomy) underwent the procedure April 1. He played catch and ran sprints April 5, and the next day he hit indoors for the first time since the surgery. He was be re-examined on April 7 before the team headed to San Francisco for the start of a 10-game trip on which Holliday is expected to play at some point.

   --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.

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