The St. Louis Cardinals could have another Lance Berkman injury problem on their hands: The slugger was removed from their Wednesday night game vs. the Cincinnati Reds in mid-inning, with Matt Carpenter coming in as a pinch hitter. Carpenter, the current rookie sensation, struck out against Mat Latos and came in to play first base in the sixth.
According to BJ Rains Berkman slowed down on his first-inning run following David Freese's double:
Carpenter pinch-hitting for Berkman, who appeared to slow up while scoring on the double from Freese in the first. Will check on reason why.— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) April 19, 2012
Berkman's been dealing with a small tear in his calf since legging out a perhaps-inadvisable triple early in the season; he had just returned on Tuesday. Berkman played 145 games last year, his most since 2008, while hitting .301/.412/.547; in seven games so far, he's hitting .348 with two doubles, a triple, and six walks, for a .348/.500/.522 line.
Matt Carpenter, who will be the first line of defense at first base until Allen Craig comes back, has hit .409/.400/.818 in 22 at-bats; he hit the game-winning sacrifice fly Tuesday.