MILWAUKEE -- Albert Pujols was back in the Cardinals' lineup Wednesday, a day after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch. Pujols said Wednesday morning that he was feeling quite a bit better than he had the night before, when he admitted to significant pain in his hand.
"I'm good," he said. "I feel good -- a little swelling, not bad."
Manager Tony La Russa waited for Pujols' arrival at the ballpark to post a lineup Wednesday. When the slugger arrived and was feeling all right, he was cleared to play.
"The X-ray was negative, and he said he's good to go," La Russa said.
In late June, Pujols was injured in a nearby spot, in the area of his left wrist, and missed two weeks due to a small fracture.
La Russa not pleased with Pujols being hit
MILWAUKEE -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was still fuming Wednesday morning, a day after slugger Albert Pujols was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Brewers reliever Takashi Saito. La Russa stood by his assessment that it is unnecessary and dangerous to pitch in the area where Pujols was hit, even though he again acknowledged that Saito was not trying to hit Pujols.
"I was concerned every time they threw the ball up and in -- four times on him in two days," La Russa said. "The ball just missed him three times. They got him real good. I don't know what it's going to take -- a broken jaw or a fractured hand? Unintentional -- it is unintentional, but it's intentionally thrown up and in, and that's a dangerous thing. Just get the ball down, like we did [against Ryan Braun]."
La Russa also took a swipe at the Brewers' broadcast team for what he felt was an unnecessary personal attack at him during the Tuesday night game.
"You would hope the guys that work for the Brewers have enough guts and enough integrity to call the game as it is instead of worrying about their paycheck, which I understand isn't true," he said.
However, after that comment, he spoke with Milwaukee color commentator Bill Schroeder, and the two cleared the air.
"A totally amicable conversation," Schroeder said. "There's mutual respect there."
As for a comment about "idiots" in the stands at Miller Park, La Russa further elaborated. On Tuesday night, La Russa said, "They're throwing the ball right in here, and that's why all these idiots up there ... not idiots, all the fans are yelling and yelling."
Asked for further clarification on that comment, La Russa said that the comments from the crowd grew distressingly personal.
"There's people yelling stuff from [behind] that dugout," he said. "They told me they removed a couple people. It was going way too far. When they start cursing your family and ... the funniest one, a guy was yelling, 'I hope you get shingles again.' It's just stupid."
Motte says he wasn't trying to hit Braun
MILWAUKEE -- Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte said Wednesday that he was not trying to hit Milwaukee's Ryan Braun in St. Louis' 8-7 win the night before, however it may have looked.
Braun was the first batter in the bottom of the seventh, which is to say the first Brewers hitter to step to the plate after Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Takashi Saito. Motte's first pitch to Braun was outside, but the next two were well in off the plate, and the third pitch hit Braun. Manager Tony La Russa said after the game that the Cardinals did intend to throw purpose pitches to Braun, but they were not trying to hit him.
Motte, however, denied that he was even trying to send a message.
"I was just trying to get in," he said. "I was just trying to throw fastballs in. I threw the first one away, it was a ball. First cutter away was a ball, and I was just trying to get in there. For me, I know how he is. He's a guy that, if you leave the ball up, out [and] over, [you get hurt]. So for me, I was just trying to get a fastball in after the first one."
Motte acknowledged that there was an easy conclusion to draw.
"I know what happened the inning before, but I wasn't out there trying to hit him," he said. "I wasn't out there trying ... it probably didn't look good, but the truth of the matter was I was trying to get it in there. Especially 2-0 [in the count], I didn't want to leave something belt-high up, out [and] over, so I was trying to get it in. And it obviously went in too much. I tried to go two-seamer in and it just ran in, and obviously went in too much."
The Cardinals had not heard from Major League Baseball prior to Wednesday's game regarding any discipline that may be handed down following Tuesday's win over Milwaukee. Yadier Molina is likely to be suspended after he was ejected and made contact with home-plate umpire Rob Drake.
A day after turning his right ankle, Kyle McClellan was considered unlikely to be available for Wednesday's game. McClellan's ankle is not considered to be seriously injured at all, but caution dictated a day off for the right-hander.
The Cardinals had lost four straight extra-inning games before winning on Tuesday night.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.