04/14/12 8:17 PM ET
Freese day to day with right hand irritation
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
Initially in Saturday's lineup, Freese was scratched less than an hour before the scheduled first pitch because of the issue. The training staff did rule out any structural damage, but manager Mike Matheny still opted to take the precautionary route.
Freese was unavailable to comment after the team's win, but Matheny did provide a few more specifics on the injury. He said that Freese had some discomfort in the finger prior to Friday's game and that he felt his hand weakened during the game. That, Matheny said, was why Freese twice lost the grip on his bat when he swung during a first-inning at-bat.
Freese stayed in the game and ended up driving home one with a fifth-inning single. He leads the club with 11 RBIs, a total that ranked second to Andre Ethier in the National League prior to Saturday's slate of games.
The team defined Freese's status as day to day.
"I'd love to have him in there [on Sunday], but I know sometimes you also have to make the sacrifice for the longer term," Matheny said. "I think that could be the case."
Berkman likely to sit for rest of Cubs series
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Berkman remained out of the lineup on Saturday, though weather played a role in manager Mike Matheny's decision not to push the first baseman back out onto the field. For the second straight day, rain created soggy field conditions.
There's a strong possibility that Berkman, who suffered a minor tear to his left calf on Tuesday, could also sit out Sunday. Giving Berkman the series finale off would ensure him two more days to heal. The Cardinals have an off-day on Monday before beginning a three-game series against the Reds.
"Good enough," is how Matheny described Berkman's status.
If Berkman remains out of the lineup on Sunday, he will likely be joined by other regulars. With left-hander Paul Maholm scheduled to start for Chicago, Matheny anticipates doing some fiddling with his lineup. He's made it an early priority to keep his bench players involved.
The last time the Cardinals faced a lefty starter, Matheny included Tony Cruz, Matt Carpenter, Tyler Greene and Shane Robinson in the starting lineup.
With two more hits in Friday's loss, Carlos Beltran now has four multihit games in his first seven starts with St. Louis. He is one of three players on the club with three home runs, and he bumped his career average at Busch Stadium to .353 with Friday's hits.
"I felt that Spring Training went well for me, so I wasn't expecting anything different," Beltran said. "I was expecting to start the season on a positive note. I feel good at the plate, and I just need to continue to get going."
Everyone in uniform on Sunday will be wearing No. 42 as a part of Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day. The gold jerseys that the Cardinals have donned for the first two games are set to be retired for the rest of the year.
Shane Robinson would likely have not been on the Cardinals' roster had Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig not started the year on the disabled list. But Robinson hasn't just been a placeholder; he's taken advantage of the opportunity to return to the Majors. In nine at-bats, Robinson has recorded five hits and driven in four.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.