10/03/2002 4:09 pm ET
MLBeat: Cards deny Unit tipped
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- If the Cardinals have some sort of read on Randy Johnson, they aren't going to admit it in public. On Thursday, before Game 2 of the National League Division Series, manager Tony La Russa and second baseman Fernando Vina denied that Johnson was tipping his pitches in any way.
St. Louis tagged the likely NL Cy Young winner for six runs in its 12-2 win in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday night. Several reports indicated that the Cardinals had gleaned some clue as to what the Diamondbacks starter was throwing.
"I don't think that's true at all," Vina said.
"I don't know what they're pointing toward, of seeing pitches or whatever it might be. They [Johnson and Curt Schilling] are tough. They're as tough as it gets regardless if you know pitches or you don't -- which we didn't."
"What I want to answer is that, oh yeah, we had him figured out," La Russa said. "Same thing with Mr. Schilling. The more they think we're reading something, the more distracting it is, we gain an edge and the pitchers lose an edge. Realistically, it's just location. It wasn't having some kind of read because they're tipping."
Another Benes update: The word on Andy Benes remains positive. Benes continues to recover well from lower back pain, which forced him out of his start Sunday against Milwaukee. He remains on schedule to pitch Game 3 on Saturday.
"Andy's improving every day," La Russa said. "No doubt in our minds he'll pitch."
Walking wounded update: Vina, who rolled over his wrist in Game 1, and center fielder Jim Edmonds, who has been bothered by a sore hamstring, are both significantly improved. Both were in the lineup on Thursday.
"This is as good a shape as our club has been in for the whole 13-man [position player] roster," La Russa said. "There's a little here, a little there, but nothing that prevents them from going 100 percent."
Right fielder J.D. Drew, who has had patellar tendinitis in his right knee all year, was also in the lineup against Schilling.
Disgusting: Cardinals officials confirmed that a local Phoenix radio station called Flynn Kile, the widow of Darryl Kile, in her hotel room in Scottsdale and made inappropriate remarks. Mrs. Kile has stayed out of the public eye for most of the time since her husband's death in June, but she was in attendance for Game 1 of the NLDS.
Weekend start times: Saturday's Game 3 of the Division Series is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium. Game 4 on Sunday, if necessary, is scheduled for a noon CT start. Sunday's game could start at 6:30 p.m. CT, but only if all three other Division Series have ended. As currently scheduled, both games will be on ABC Family nationally, and on KTVI FOX (Ch. 2) in St. Louis.
The Cardinals have requested that fans allow for extra time getting into the park, because all bags will be subject to inspection. One change has been made from regular season policy: only those holding tickets to field box level seats will be permitted to enter the field box area at any time.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at Matthew_H_Leach@yahoo.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.