4/19/2013 10:12 P.M. ET
Cruz starts at catcher as Molina gets night off
By Jay Greenberg / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Cruz gave Yadier Molina his first night off of the season Friday, the backup catcher batting seventh in the Cardinals lineup.
"Today is a day for Yadi and a day for Tony," said manager Mike Matheny. "We have been mapping this out for a while.
"There never is a good day to get [Molina] a rest even though we have a lot of confidence in Tony. We do need to get him in there."
A start is a start, whether against Roy Halladay, or catching Jaime Garcia, whom Matheny called as hard a pitcher to catch as there is in his staff because of the movement of his pitches.
"It was good we got Tony a few starts with Jaime over Spring Training," said Matheny. "Tony has a pretty good understanding of his philosophy and his stuff. It should be a pretty easy transition for him."
Wainwright still hasn't issued a walk
PHILADELPHIA -- What 29-inning streak without a walk, says Adam Wainwright? He playfully holds his ears and hums a tune.
But only two more outs and Pea Ridge Day, who recorded the second-longest such streak to start a season -- 29 2/3 innings -- for the 1925 Cardinals, becomes yesterday's news. And the way Wainwright is dealing, he has better than just a fat chance of surpassing the Cardinals' all-time record holder for innings without a walk (40), Slim Sallee, on the 100-year anniversary of that feat in 1913.
"I know this is going on," said Wainwright seriously. "I am being deliberate about it, that's kind of my intention going out.
"[But] if I am getting three-ball counts, I'm not casting heaters down the middle. Couple times [in Thursday night's 4-3 victory over the Phillies], I threw a couple curveballs and the game before that I threw curveballs. [Thursday] I threw a cutter in on [Jimmy] Rollins 3-2. Just because I'm not walking anybody doesn't mean I am not still pitching. At no point in time do I not think I am not going to make the next pitch.
Ben Revere worked a 3-0 count before being retired by Wainwright on a 3-1 cutter. He also threw a cutter to induce a Rollins groundout on a 3-2 pitch.
Wainwright walked 52 batters last season, his first back from Tommy John surgery, when, typically, pitchers struggle with command.
"He is locating that fastball very well," said manager Mike Matheny. "A couple years after that surgery is pretty much par for the course.
For the record, Day went 2-4 with a 6.30 ERA for the 1925 Cardinals. Sallee was 19-15 with a 2.71 ERA in 1913.
• Matt Carpenter, hit in the throat with a nasty smash by Ryan Howard on Thursday night, was back in the lineup, hitting leadoff for the second straight day.
"It shocked him a bit, he was wondering how it was going to feel himself," Matheny said. "He came in early, and they ran him through a battery of tests and everything came out clear."
• Molina's two-run double on Thursday night appeared to land barely on the foul side of the right-field line, but not conclusively on replays that didn't zoom close enough to be definitive.
"I think it was fair," smiled the manager. "I didn't see it, but I watched the umpire [Alan Porter] and that's all I needed to see.
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.