Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/25/09

Pineiro, Holliday and Lugo led the visiting Cardinals over the defending World Champion Phillies on Friday night.



There were smiles all around in the Cardinals' clubhouse when it was announced that the club had acquired Matt Holliday from Oakland Friday. And then there even more smiles later on after Holliday's four-hit debut as a Cardinal.


In truth, only one of the hits was struck with authority, a double in the seventh inning. But Holliday's impact was everywhere. He stole second on the first pitch after he beat out an infield hit in the second and scored the game's first run.


He also misplayed a fly ball a bit in left field and ran into an out at third base, but the pluses far outweighed the minuses and, besides, Holliday said, "It's been a bit hectic (Friday)."


Holliday hustled to Philadelphia via train from New York, where his Oakland team had been playing. He arrived just before batting practice, took part in a press conference and then hit the field.


Manager Tony La Russa, whose lineup now has the pop to match his starting pitching, was among those smiling. "We've been talking about this since last winter," said La Russa, who had been stumping for Holliday when the latter was with Colorado. "I've been practicing that excitement."


It cost the Cardinals Brett Wallace, the club's top draft pick last year; Clayton Mortensen, a sandwich pick in 2007, and Shane Peterson, a second-round pick in 2008.


But GM John Mozeliak said, "If we didn't have the prospects down below, we don't get the deal done. If we wanted to make an impact move to get us over the top, we had to try to do it.


"Tony pushes these guys to be successful. My job is to make sure he has the right players to do so.


"We liked our team. But now we like it better."


Cardinals 8, Philadelphia 1:   RHP Joel Pineiro walked his first batter in five starts but he didn't allow a home run—he has given just three all season—and, for that matter, didn't give up much of anything in six scoreless innings. He finally evened his record again at 9-9 but manager Tony La Russa said, "His record is very deceiving."




• Besides OF Matt Holliday's four-hit debut, 2B Julio Lugo made his first game with the Cardinals a big splash, too, as he tripled and homered. Between the two newcomers, they hit for the cycle.


• All eight Cardinals starting position players had at least one hit Friday as the Cardinals beat the Phillies for the first time in three meetings this year.




• CF Rick Ankiel, getting a chance to play again, had a three-hit night, including a double. He might get more time with rookie Colby Rasmus struggling at two for his last 25.


• 1B Albert Pujols was 0-for-6 and 1-for-10 before he singled in the sixth inning. The Cardinals, however, have enough firepower now that they can survive when Pujols doesn't have a big night.


• RHP Joel Pineiro, Friday's winner, has given up just four earned runs in his last 29 innings. He has become a solid No. 3 starter, using his sinkerball about 70 percent of the time but mixing in a changeup and curveball, too.

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