10/02/11 8:48 PM ET
Pujols plays, shrugs off concerns about ankle
By Matthew Leach, Corey Brock and Nate Mink / MLB.com
Asked if he was all clear, Pujols responded, with a laugh, "What kind of question is that?"
Still, there's some mild concern about Pujols' condition. At times he's running at less than full speed, and he gave way to a pinch-runner in the ninth inning on Saturday."If it happens during the game that he hits it wrong, it will cause him discomfort," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's feeling better now. They treated it after the game. He may go several games without feeling it again where it's really painful. But he plays with it."
Renewed soreness holds back Holliday
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Holliday has taken a step back in his recovery from a painful bout of tendinitis in his right hand, and it's very much in question whether he will be able to start any games of the Cardinals' National League Division Series against the Phillies.
Holliday pinch-hit in Saturday night's Game 1 loss, an 11-6 decision against the Phillies. The club considered him available to do the same in Game 2, but any hopes that he might have started against left-hander Cliff Lee were dashed after Holliday experienced renewed pain as a result of his Saturday at-bat.
"I don't know about Tuesday [Game 3]," manager Tony La Russa said. "I know right now, I'm more concerned than I was before yesterday's game, because he took an at-bat and he did have soreness when he swung."
Holliday did not take batting practice pregame as an attempt to minimize the strain on his hand. He said he will take a few swings when it appears he is about to come in a game, but that's it. Throwing, he said, is less of an issue than it has been at times while he's battled the injury.
"It didn't feel great [on Saturday]," Holliday said, "but we'll see how it feels when I get ready for the game."
General manager John Mozeliak did not rule out the possibility of replacing Holliday on the roster if the injury heads in the wrong direction, but he didn't sound like that's a particularly likely outcome. If Holliday were removed, the Cardinals could replace him with another player, but he would be ineligible for a potential NL Championship Series appearance.
"Obviously when we put our roster together for yesterday morning, we were hopeful that he'd be further along," Mozeliak said. "But I'm not prepared to say that we may have to make a roster move at this point."
Known for bat, Berkman quietly comfy in outfield
PHILADELPHIA -- Make no mistake: the Cardinals didn't pay outfielder Lance Berkman $8 million this season -- or $12 million for next season, for that matter -- for his defensive contributions as an outfielder.
That doesn't mean the Cardinals or Berkman are dismissive of his play in the outfield, a position he returned to on a full-time basis for the first time since 2004, when he was playing for the Astros.
Berkman, who was obviously signed for his bat, had a minus-10.2 UZR (ultimate zone rating) this season. His plus/minus runs saved (rPM) was minus-eight, according to FanGraphs. In short, Berkman's not going to win any Gold Glove Awards in the outfield.
But as Berkman indicated Sunday, he hasn't embarrassed himself in the outfield, either.
"As the season has progressed, I've felt more and more at home out there," he said. "I know a big deal was made out of that, but it didn't seem like that big a deal to me. I'm glad to show I can go back out there and be a reasonably productive outfielder."
Berkman, 35, said it took him a while to get acclimated to the outfield again after spending so many seasons at first base.
"I played most of my career as an outfielder, so going back out there, that felt like it took me maybe a month or so to get comfortable," Berkman said.
Berkman was limited to 122 games in 2010 after having surgery on his left knee in April and landing on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle in August.
With the Cardinals, though, he's been healthy, and his legs have remained relatively fresh.
"I think we've just been really impressed at his conditioning and how his legs have stood up," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "His legs have been a big plus for the spring season and now playoff baseball."
Phils-Cards remaining game times revealed
PHILADELPHIA -- Game times for the remainder of the Phillies- Cardinals' National League Division Series have been announced.
The best-of-five series shifts to Busch Stadium in St. Louis starting Tuesday, with Game 3 at 4:07 p.m. CT. Game 4, if necessary, will start at 5:07 p.m. CT on Wednesday. If a decisive Game 5 is necessary, it will start at 7:37 p.m. CT on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies entered Sunday night's game leading the series, 1-0, after Saturday's 11-6 victory.
Manager Tony La Russa made one adjustment to his lineup for Sunday's Game 2. Ryan Theriot substituted for Skip Schumaker against left-hander Cliff Lee. Otherwise it was an identical lineup to Game 1, save, of course, for the pitcher.
Following the time change for Game 2, the Cardinals elected to stay an extra night in Philadelphia. Instead of flying Sunday night following the 7:37 p.m. CT game (originally scheduled for 7:07), they will fly back to St. Louis on Monday afternoon.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.