St. Louis, Mo – The area’s most popular Puma is expected to return the Cardinal’s lineup tonight after a four game hiatus. The 36 year old, Lance Berkman, has been riding the pine since being diagnosed with a strained left calf a week ago.
Berkman was hitting .375 in his five games prior to taking residence in the Red Birds’ dugout. While he has yet to record a homerun in his 16 at-bats, 23 plate appearances, he has shown off a nice combination of power and speed thus far in his 14th career season. The Puma already has two doubles and one triple under his belt this season and while he may have just one RBI, he has crossed the plate five times.
One small, minute detail to add onto Berkman’s .375 average and run-scored-per-game average is the fact that he’s walked an astonishing six times already this season. While it may be a deceivingly small sample size, Berkman is currently getting on base .565 percent of the time. He has also been hit by one pitch and drawn two intentional walks.
Matt Carpenter, who has been filling the shows of Fat Elvis in his absence, is diligently carving a post for himself as a fan favorite in the Gateway City. The young Carpenter hit .500 (8 for 16) with two runs, one double, two triples, one homerun, and seven RBI’s since taking over at first base on April 11; the Missouri City, Texas native has knocked in 30.4 percent of the Cardinal’s runs since that date. These numbers do include a monster 4 for 4 performance that resulted in five RBI’s and Carpenter coming just a double shy of the cycle during Sunday’s 10-3 victory over the Cubs.
Berkman has taken up residence in Matt Holliday’s old position in the lineup as the team’s clean-up hitter.
Tonight’s game has a 7:15pm first pitch at Busch Stadium. It can be found locally in St. Louis on Fox Sports Midwest or 1120 KMOX.