Cardinals living life without Pujols

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:09 PM ET

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals are catching a glimpse of what life without Albert Pujols could be like next season.

Pujols broke his left wrist reaching into foul ground to catch a throw up the line from from second baseman Pete Kozma and Kansas City Royals runner Wilson Betemit collided with Pujols' glove hand.

The soon-to-be free agent is out for roughly six weeks.

They Cards scored only two runs in their first two games without him.

Both were losses. In fairness, the opposition's starting pitchers were Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the latter tossing a shutout Wednesday. Pujols is only 1-for-8 in his career against Lee.

The Cards played the finale of their series against the Phillies Thursday night with Lance Berkman at first base.

This is the third time that Pujols has been on the DL in his career.

The other times were 15-day jobs in 2006 (right side strain) and 2008 (left calf strain). The Cardinals went 14-14 overall without him.

After joking "I'm going to go find a place to cry," manager Tony La Russa said he was aware of Pujols' presence in the dugout, adding "I never thought about him during the game. That's a silly thought to have. It's a non-productive thought to have. We win with the guys we have."

The play at first base was accidental, Pujols going for the ball, Betemit running inside his lane, heading for the bag.

"He hit me on my wrist and my shoulder," Pujols said after the injury.

"He kind of jammed me back. It's the toughest play to make as a first baseman. It's a bang-bang play. I saw the replay a couple of times, but I didn't really want to look at it."

Montreal Expos' Cliff Floyd did the same and broke his hand in several place when he reached into a New York Mets runner attempting to catch a ball.

After the Phillies pounded the Cards' bullpen for nine runs Tuesday, St. Louis GM John Mozeliak made two moves. He released ex-Blue Jay Miguel Batista, 40, who had given up nine runs in his last 2 2/3 innings and retired none of three hitters on Tuesday. Mozeliak also brought in a third left-handed pitcher in Raul Valdes.

The corresponding call-up for Batista was right-hander Lance Lynn, 7-3 at Memphis and 1-1 with the Cardinals as a starter earlier this month, although Lynn will be a reliever for the moment.

The Cardinals have 22 saves and 15 blown saves on the year.

bob.elliott@sunmedia.ca


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