PHILADELPHIA -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa asserted Saturday that the decision to leave Kyle McClellan off the team's National League Division Series roster was done in the pitcher's best interest. McClellan has dealt recently with a case of what the club calls "dead arm," and the team was concerned about his ability to pitch on consecutive days.
McClellan was surprised and upset by the decision, and La Russa said he understood the pitcher's frustration. He pointed out the Phillies' heavily left-handed lineup as a case for having McClellan on the roster, given that McClellan is more adept than most right-handed relievers at getting lefties out.
"I don't blame him for being upset," La Russa said. "I would [be], too. The concern is about him, and I've got to believe that sooner or later, he'll appreciate that we're more concerned about him than we are us, because he's a major weapon to lose out of that bullpen against these guys."
La Russa said that the club hopes that the rest could make McClellan fully available for a potential appearance in the NL Championship Series.
Chambers earns spot on Cards' NLDS roster
PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie outfielder Adron Chambers secured the final spot on the Cardinals' National League Division Series roster, thanks to a combination of his speed and the team's need.
Chambers won out over infielder Tyler Greene, manager Tony La Russa said, in part because without him, the team would be short on outfielders. The roster contains four other outfielders, one of whom, Matt Holliday, is limited due to tendinitis in the middle finger of his right hand.
La Russa said that Corey Patterson was not seriously considered for the spot. Chambers will likely serve as a pinch-runner and potentially at times as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement.
Chambers, 25, made his Major League debut on Sept. 6. He appeared in 18 games for the Cardinals, going 2-for-8 in eight plate appearances.
"It's nice to have that asset on the bench," La Russa said. "If it's just speed, you take Tyler, a more accomplished runner. We were sparse in the outfield, unless you move [Skip Schumaker] out there. ... We were not protected on the outfield side."
Rivalry between Carp and Doc a friendly one
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay, the Phillies' starter in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Saturday, might not have had any supporters in the Cardinals' dugout, but he certainly had a friend.
St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter and Halladay were teammates in the Blue Jays' Minor League system and then for two seasons at the Major League level (1998-99) before Carpenter was designated for assignment after the 2002 season.
The two have remained close.
"Actually, I talk to him a lot, and his wife and my wife are still close friends," Carpenter said before Saturday's game.
Carpenter recalled talks the two had during their Toronto days, when they worked through a lot of the same issues, not just the trials of trying to stick on a 25-man roster but how to deal with external distractions.
Both players have certainly been through a lot -- Carpenter's exodus from the Blue Jays and subsequent shoulder and elbow surgeries to Halladay's early struggles.
"What I respect the most about him is he's an unbelievable professional," Carpenter said. "You look back on his career, and I mean, I was in Toronto when he got sent back down to the Minors and all these other things. And he's just worked himself to become the best, and that's determination from him, that's his attitude, that's his professionalism.
"I think that we learned a lot about it together."
Holliday might be limited to bench role in NLDS
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Holliday was included on the Cardinals' active roster for their National League Division Series against the Phillies, but the Cards' usual cleanup hitter was not in the starting lineup for Game 1. That could be a common occurrence as the series goes on.
Manager Tony La Russa left open the possibility that Holliday might not start any games in the series, instead coming off the bench. Holliday is dealing with tendinitis in the middle finger of his right hand, a painful condition that limits him both hitting and throwing.
"Yesterday, he could throw, which was an improvement," La Russa said Saturday. "He took limited swings, enough to where we were sure he could pinch-hit. He's going to have much more workout today. If he comes up with a real positive outcome, you may consider him [to start in Sunday's Game 2]. If he's a little bit better but still hurting, you have to wait until Tuesday. I think it's possible he could pinch-hit the whole series."
Holliday did not hit on the field prior to Saturday's game.
Lance Berkman started in left field rather than right field on Saturday, with Allen Craig starting in right. Manager Tony La Russa explained that the move is to save Berkman some extra running, because the visiting dugout in Philadelphia is on the left-field side. If Matt Holliday were to start Game 2, however, Holliday would take his customary spot in left and Berkman would move to right.
La Russa expressed no worries about having left-handed hitters back-to-back at the bottom of his batting order on Saturday, a practice he usually prefers to avoid. He pointed to the fact that Phillies starter Roy Halladay is likely to pitch deep into the game, and beating Halladay is a higher priority than worrying about countering a left-handed reliever in the late innings. Skip Schumaker batted seventh, with Jon Jay eighth.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.