Brewers-Cardinals postponed by rain
The rainout was a bonus for Rolen, who got another day to recover from upper back spasms that kept him out of the lineup for two games earlier in the week.
“This doesn’t hurt me one bit, an extra day,” Rolen said. “I was going to go out and play, I’m ready to play.
“If it got a little cold and a little breezy out there, that’s not going to be the greatest thing for my back, so this will be another day for me to lay low and come back tomorrow.”
Along with the postponement, the second game of the three-game series was pushed back six hours to a 7:10 p.m. EDT start Saturday because of a dismal forecast that called for rain throughout the night. No makeup date was announced for Friday night’s game.
The Brewers will make one more trip to St. Louis on July 27-29, and both teams have a day off on Monday, July 30. However, that’s the Brewers’ only day off in a stretch of 27 days.
Rolen, who’s batting .192 with one home run and six RBIs, was scratched from the lineup Tuesday. He didn’t play Wednesday and the Cardinals were off on Thursday.
The injury might have been brought on by cold weather during a three-game series in Pittsburgh. Rolen said he awoke to considerable discomfort on Tuesday.
“It’s a factor for hitters, it’s a factor for pitchers, it’s a factor for everybody,” Rolen said. “I thought the game in Pittsburgh (that I played) was about 30 degree wind chill factor and there isn’t anybody comfortable, whether you’re hitting or pitching.”
Manager Tony La Russa said he had given no thought to giving Rolen another day off before the rain began.
“He was good to go,” La Russa said. “You’re concerned about everybody, but I didn’t take anybody out of the lineup.”
Rain began shortly before the 8:10 EDT start time, after the singing of National Anthem and God Bless America and both team’s starting pitchers had completed their warmups. The Cardinals’ Anthony Reyes and the Brewers’ Ben Sheets both were pushed back, with Reyes scheduled to pitch Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates and Sheets going on Sunday in the series finale against St. Louis.
“Early in the season, you’re just trying to get into the rhythm of throwing and you have more off days,” Suppan said. “Tomorrow’s my day, and that’s all that matters.”
Brewers manager Ned Yost said he considered starting Carlos Villanueva instead of Sheets due to the forecast, but noted that he has “five good starters.”
Sheets threw 50 pitches and had one warmup delivery to go when the game was called. Still, he told Yost he could pitch Saturday if needed.
“I had a sense of what was going on, whether I had one pitch or 50 left,” Sheets said. “I told (Yost) I’d go tomorrow but we’re backed up enough with an off day that you had so many ways you could do it.”
Reyes said he tried not to think about the impending storm while he was warming up.
“I always think I’m going to pitch,” he said. “I try not to lose focus on the game and do the best I can, stay away from the TV and stuff like that.”