The St. Louis Cardinals will be without slugger Carlos Beltran for their second consecutive game Friday—Rick Hummel reports that Beltran's leg stiffened up Friday morning. That leaves the Cardinals without their two 2004-vintage Killer B's; Lance Berkman is also out, despite becoming eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list, with continued problems related to his strained calf muscle and his ill-advised first triple of the season.
Beltran drove in seven runs in his last start, homering twice; on the season he's hitting .276/.394/.529, with seven home runs, five stolen bases, and 18 RBI. Without him and Berkman the Cardinals will continue to rely on Allen Craig, himself a recent DL returnee, and rookie Matt Carpenter, who's hit .279/.338/.485 as Berkman's caddy at first base. The Cardinals recently waived one backup outfielder, Erik Komatsu, who might have figured into the playing-time discussion.
For more information on the St. Louis Cardinals' weekend series with the Houston Astros, stay tuned to our storystream or follow along with the Cardinals fans at Viva El Birdos, who are writing jeremiads about the gods of baseball at this very moment.