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Cardinals pregame notes: Making the best of flight delays; pitching to David Ortiz; a full St. Louis bullpen

10.30.13 at 7:50 pm ET
By
Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Considering that the Cardinals’ situation Tuesday — stuck on a tarmac for seven hours with some of the most important people in their lives, including no shortage of young children — would be some folks’ worst nightmare, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was pleased with the way his team handled it.

“Impressive, to be honest with you,” Matheny said. “I didn’t hear any complaining at all. Normally guys are, even if they’re just in jest, they’re still throwing some things out there, but we didn’t hear anything. But guys did what they do.

“They hung out with their families. They hung out with each other. There was a lot of fooling around going on. Guys were making the best of a situation they knew we didn’t have any control over.”

Right-hander Joe Kelly, a likely candidate to start a potential Game 7, said the team made light of it all and kept themselves busy — watching each others’ kids, sitting around and chatting, killing time on Twitter. He enjoyed the “#cardinalsplaneproblems” hashtag in particular.

“We don’t want to do it all the time, but it wasn’t bad,” Kelly said. “It’s very rare, and so you’ve got to take the fun in whatever situation you’re at and just try to roll with it.”

Kelly’s biggest issue: When the Cardinals did get into Boston around 11 p.m., they had a hard time finding an open restaurant.

OTHER CARDINALS PREGAME NOTES:          

– It is no secret David Ortiz has given Cardinals pitching fits the last week. The designated hitter is batting .733 (11-for-15) with two doubles, two homers, four walks and six RBI through the first five games.

Matheny said the Cardinals’ approach to pitching to Ortiz depends not only on stats and gut feelings, but also how the game is developing. Even then, however, a game plan doesn’t always work out.

“We are going to be careful,” Matheny said. “We haven’t made it any big secret, and sometimes when we’re doing that, it doesn’t even work out how we’re playing it.

“It’s a situation where you have a hitter that we know and everybody sees, he’s swinging the bat very well. … We’re going to use all the information we can get our hands on.”

– According to Matheny, everyone except Adam Wainwright, who started Game 5 Monday, is available in the Cards bullpen.

– The hobbled Allen Craig is serving as the designated hitter and batting fourth now that the series has shifted back to an American League park. Craig, battling through a foot injury, had played first base in Game 5.

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