The Cardinals begin a weekend series with the Reds at Busch Stadium Friday night. Here were some takeaways from Friday afternoon's pregame festivities:
Nobody knows how a baseball defied gravity
Mike Matheny still doesn’t have any explanation for the ball that inexplicably stuck to Yadier Molina’s chest protector on a Brett Cecil strikeout Thursday. Matheny was asked Friday if he was confident that nobody on his team puts any foreign substances on the baseball.
“I still haven’t talked to anybody about that whole thing yesterday,” Matheny replied. “It looked completely… I don’t know if you could throw something on a ball and make that happen if you tried. If you put liquid nails on a ball, I don’t know if you could make that happen again. I don’t know what in the world really happened there, but there are going to be plenty of other ideas, so I’ve have nothing to tell you.”
Brett Cecil discussed the situation for the first time Friday afternoon, and he was just as befuddled as his manager.
“No, I really don’t have any explanation for it,” Cecil said. “I don’t use any foreign substance put on there… Your guys’ guess is as good as mine. I have no idea. I talked to Yadi, he has no idea. Can’t explain it.”
Perhaps someday, an Air Force or NASA engineer could explain this true mystery of the universe.
Piscotty looking to clean up
Stephen Piscotty is back in the Cardinals starting lineup Friday after his unfortunate trip around the bases Tuesday night (Piscotty appeared in Thursday’s game, but did not start). This comes after many speculated clean up would become Piscotty’s home this season, but a bad spring perhaps led to his lowering in the lineup for the first couple games. Matheny didn’t commit to any one player sticking around in the four-hole long-term, but he feels Piscotty has the make up to succeed in that spot.
“In his short career, he’s proven to be able to drive runs in,” Matheny said. “There’s going to be a good chance with the three guys we have ahead of him–or whoever’s there–that they’re going to have opportunities with guys on base. It hasn’t been a long career, but in the opportunities he’s had, he’s done as well as anybody coming through in those situations, and that’s something that deserves more opportunities. He looks good at the plate. But there will be times where we’ve got a number of guys who fit that spot. Right now, today, Stephen’s the right guy for us.”
Rosenthal nearing return
Trevor Rosenthal threw a bullpen session Thursday, and reportedly felt good a day later on Friday. Matheny says the team is contemplating whether the former closer will need a short minor league rehab assignment, or whether he can get back to game speed by throwing a live session/simulated game against some active hitters from the roster. If he is cleared to progress further by the medical team, Rosenthal could be activated soon.