Cards downplay mounds issue at Coors
Carpenter had said pitcher's hill was steeper than one in 'pen
DENVER -- A day after they complained of a discrepancy between the main pitcher's mound and the bullpen mound at Coors Field, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and pitcher Chris Carpenter both publicly tried to play down the issue on Saturday.
Following Friday night's loss to Colorado, Carpenter said that the mound on the playing field at Coors was significantly steeper than the one in the bullpen. Neither he nor La Russa backed off that contention on Saturday, but La Russa did say that as far as he was concerned, the matter had been resolved thanks to work that was done on the bullpen mound.
"They've got to both be the same," La Russa said. "It was not the same, and they worked on it. As far as I'm concerned, it didn't affect yesterday's game and it's not an issue today."
However, it's possible that as of early Saturday afternoon, it had not yet been entirely resolved. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on his Twitter account that La Russa engaged in a "heated exchange" with the Colorado grounds crew several hours prior to Saturday night's game. Speaking to reporters, however, La Russa had little appetite for going into the specific details.
"I don't think it had anything to do with the outcome of the game yesterday, and it doesn't have anything to do with the outcome today," La Russa said. "So I don't like to get into [it]. But if a pitcher like Carp sees a difference -- and he never makes any kind of excuse -- then it's something to follow up on. You just make sure the umpires are aware."
La Russa went into the umpires' locker room for a couple of minutes to discuss the concerns after Friday night's game, before he addressed reporters in his office.
Carpenter, who made no secret of his frustration regarding the mounds on Friday night, was already tired of the topic by Saturday.
"I really don't care," Carpenter said. "Everybody keeps bringing it up. It was a topic of conversation on the bench, and it turned into a topic of conversation after the game. It didn't need to be. I was just expressing my feelings in the dugout that the mound was different from the one in the bullpen. And I don't know if it is or isn't. I [couldn't] care less. But it's not an issue. Unfortunately, it's turned into one. I really don't have anything to say about it."
Reliever Trever Miller, who pitched after Carpenter, said he had no qualms regarding the mounds.
Depsite a report to the contrary, La Russa and general manager John Mozeliak both said that the club did not file a formal protest regarding the issue.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.