Holliday, Berkman suffer injuries vs. Astros
Left fielder's left quad tightens up; right fielder hurts right wrist
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals lost both of their starting corner outfielders to injuries during Wednesday's 5-1 win over the Astros.
Left fielder Matt Holliday departed in the third inning with tightness in his left quadriceps. Two innings later, right fielder Lance Berkman was removed due to soreness in his right wrist. Both players will be evaluated further on Thursday.
Berkman made a diving catch to rob Chris Johnson of a hit in the fifth and was slow to get up. He said that he "jammed" his wrist when he went to catch the ball. It's unlikely he will play on Thursday, but Berkman said he believes he will not need a stint on the disabled list. Berkman had an X-ray on his wrist after the game, which came back negative.
"I don't think it's too, too bad," he said. "I think it's sprained. I think it's more than just, 'Oh, it's sore,' but I don't think it's as serious as being out a long time."
Holliday caught a fly ball on the warning track for the game's second out, then grounded out to third in his first plate appearance in the bottom of the second inning. He was removed before taking the field for defense in the third.
"Feels fine now, but I won't know until I run," Holliday wrote in a text message following the game.
Manager Tony La Russa expressed optimism regarding Holliday, but it's still likely that the four-time All-Star will not start Thursday afternoon's game against Houston.
The two outfielders have been the engine of the Cardinals' offense thus far in 2011, combining to be one of baseball's most productive duos. Holliday is batting .357 with a .444 on-base percentage, a .557 slugging percentage, 13 doubles, 30 runs and 28 RBIs. Berkman has a .349/.455/.683 line with 11 homers, 35 RBIs and 31 runs scored.
The Cardinals have been hit hard by injuries, with starting second baseman Skip Schumaker, starting third baseman David Freese, ace pitcher Adam Wainwright, utility infielder Nick Punto and relievers Brian Tallet and Brian Augenstein on the disabled list. Center fielder Colby Rasmus has been bothered by an abdominal strain but could return to the lineup on Thursday.
Tallet has dominant outing in rehab game
ST. LOUIS -- Brian Tallet's first Minor League rehabilitation outing went extremely well, and he may only need one more.
Tallet pitched two perfect innings for Class A Quad Cities on Tuesday night, striking out five of the six batters he faced. He's slated to go again on Friday for Quad Cities, and his next appearance after that might well be with the Cardinals. Tallet is recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.
"I was able to locate my fastball, threw a good cutter, threw some good changeups when I had a chance," he said. "It's just [about] trying to fine-tune everything, so when you get the chance to finally pitch back in the big leagues, you're ready. That's what I've been doing for four weeks."
Tallet spent a little time chatting with some of the Bandits' young pitchers, and he played catch with phenom Carlos Martinez.
"He was throwing pretty firm when we were playing catch," Tallet said. "He throws a heavy ball. And the thing is, he's like 6-foot and 150 pounds soaking wet -- and the ball comes out like a laser beam."
Rasmus still feeling discomfort throwing
ST. LOUIS -- Colby Rasmus keeps getting closer, but he acknowledged Wednesday that as of Tuesday afternoon, some baseball activities were still a bit problematic for him as he recovers from an abdominal strain. Rasmus said he's all right when he's hitting or running, but that he felt some discomfort at times when he threw on Tuesday.
As a result, the Cardinals center fielder was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday. He appeared as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and grounded out to first.
"I was out there running a little bit yesterday, running down some balls, and I felt fine," he said on Wednesday afternoon. "I felt a little something when I was throwing."
Manager Tony La Russa said he expects Rasmus to be available over the weekend.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.