Cards' Berkman goes from happy to sad

Posted: October 01, 2011

Lance Berkman began Game 1 of the NL division series Saturday with a three-run homer and ended it wondering why the Phillies fans in Citizens Bank Park's leftfield stands were calling his name.

In between, he, like the rest of the Cardinals, were baffled by Roy Halladay's determined pitches.

"That," said the Cardinals leftfielder of the Phils' starter, "is why they pay him $22 million."

For five innings or so, it looked like Berkman's first-inning homer had deflated the Phillies and the sellout crowd. Twelve days after he'd put a first-inning pitch by Roy Oswalt in the rightfield seats, he did it again against Halladay. The home run scored Rafael Furcal, who had singled, and Albert Pujols, who had walked.

"I was trying to go away from him," explained Halladay. "but it was kind of a pulled sinker. I left it right over the plate. If it's down maybe I get away with it. But it was thigh-high, center-cut."

It was one of only three hits Halladay permitted. Berkman popped up and struck out in his next two at-bats off him.

Then, in the Phillies' eighth, the fans in left began serenading the talkative Texan with, "Berk-man. Berk-man."

"They were chanting my name," he said later, "but I don't know why. My name is on the back of my uniform. So it's nice to know they can read."

Pujols banged up

Pujols hobbled throughout the game, barely getting down to first base on a third-inning groundout. He had injured an ankle against Washington late last month and then aggravated it last week against Houston.

Afterward, Puljols wore a huge ice pack on it and said he was fine. "I just rolled it over in Houston," he said. "It's no big deal."

Card manager Tony La Russa also indicated after the game that Pujols also was bothered by a sore heel. He pinch-ran for him in the ninth.

"He'll play [Sunday]," La Russa said.

Card tricks. Another injured Cardinal, Matt Holliday (strained palm tendon) pinch-hit in the ninth, striking out. "I wanted him to hit," said La Russa. "I'll be interested to see how he comes out of it. I don't know [if he'll play in Game 2 Sunday]."


Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068, ffitzpatrick@phillynews.com, or @philafitz on Twitter. Read his blog, Giving 'Em Fitz, at www.philly.com/fitz.

 

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