10/22/06 8:20 PM ET
Notes: Miles starts at second base
Belliard on bench as Cardinals face Tigers lefty Rogers
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
"I've been one of those guys that comes in without having that many at-bats in the previous week and can do the job," said Miles. "I'm not going to go out there and hit three home runs, but I'm going to go and put the bat on the ball and do what I've got to do to help the team."
Miles got the call in place of Ronnie Belliard, who has a 2-for-22 lifetime mark against Tigers starter Kenny Rogers. The switch-hitting Miles is 3-for-5 this postseason. His last start came on Oct. 1, the last day of the regular season.
"We've been looking to get Aaron in a game," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. "He's got a chance to be very important to us in this series. ... And then the struggles that Ronnie's had against Rogers, that's hard to ignore."
The best: La Russa counts himself among the greatest admirers of former Tigers and Reds manager Sparky Anderson, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday. As La Russa made his way up the career wins list for managers, passing Anderson was one of the few milestones that he acknowledged as a big deal.
"He was a wealth of information," La Russa said. "And then as you gained experience, you realized how valuable it was. But his willingness to help young people who were trying to understand the game was very, very, very exceptional.
"And then you watch him as far as an ambassador for baseball or something. He does a great job with media and fans. And last but not least, I had a lot of games managing against him, and he's on top of everything. Whether it was pitching, he'd do a great job with pinch-hitters, team attitude, professionalism. ... I've always felt that he's the most complete manager that I've ever been around."
Outfield shuffle: The Cardinals' outfield/DH job-sharing arrangement turned again on Sunday, with So Taguchi and Chris Duncan out, and Preston Wilson (left field) and Scott Spiezio (designated hitter) in. La Russa made the DH move based on Spiezio's 15-for-38 career mark against Rogers.
As for the Wilson/Taguchi switch, La Russa explained that many of Taguchi's abilities are negated by Rogers. The veteran left-hander shuts down the running game, and much of what the Cards like about Taguchi is his ability to execute things like the hit-and-run and to steal bases.
As for Wilson, he's used to being a starter, but he's not complaining about his new role in St. Louis.
"I think the good thing about it is no matter who we put out there, we believe in them," Wilson said. "It's different when you're used to playing every day, but at the same time, you believe that the team isn't missing anything, no matter who you put out there. So that's a good feeling.
"I think it's a great problem for the manager to have. The biggest thing is to come prepared to do whatever you have to do to help. Because right now it's not about personal things or personal stats, it's about trying to do whatever it takes for a team to win."
This date in Cardinals history: On Oct. 22, 1987, Danny Cox pitched 7 1/3 strong innings as the Cardinals beat the Twins, 4-2, in Game 5 of the World Series. Vince Coleman reached base twice, stole two bases and scored two runs as the Cards took a 3-2 series lead.
Coming up: Monday is a workout day for the two teams at Busch Stadium. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.