Manager Tony La Russa's decision to split up Adam Ottavino and P.J. Walters has worked well for the Cardinals.
With days off, La Russa has managed to limit the subs for injured pitchers Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse limited to one appearance per series. Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia have handled the other two games in each matchup and so far the result has been encouraging. The Cardinals have won each of their last three series in this setup, besting the Reds, Cubs and Brewers. And on Saturday the Birds were able to steal the middle game, giving them a chance for the sweep tonight.
Speaking of injured hurlers, the Cardinals say that Brad Penny has resumed throwing on flat ground and could start throwing off a mound within the week. If Penny can come back and pitch as well as he did before he was injured, the Redbirds should be pretty much back to 100 percent as far as the rotation goes. Kyle Lohse was the loser in 80 percent of the games he pitched, so it's pretty reasonable to expect a sub to be able to do that well, no matter who it is.
David Freese limped off the field Saturday with a twisted ankle after he mis-stepped on third base. I haven't heard any updates on his condition so far, but it didn't appear to be too serious. His Reds counterpart, former Cardinals third sacker Scott Rolen, won't start Sunday. Cincinnati reports he'll be given the day off and another former Cardinal, Miguel Cairo, will start at the hot corner.