ST. LOUIS -- For the first time in a long time, the Cardinals will find themselves doing the bullpen shuffle for a while. Right-hander Jason Isringhausen was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a right abdominal strain, leaving the late-innings plan for the Cards in doubt.
"We're gonna mix and match," manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday. "Obviously [Julian] Tavarez is our best right-hander and [Ray] King is our best left-hander. Sometimes the heart of the lineup is in the eighth, and that's the beauty of having Tavarez and Izzy. You can bring in Tavarez.
"But now you may worry about not having a lead after the eighth, and you use Tavarez in the eighth, and then mix and match. I've managed 20 years and had a great closer 10 years and 10 without one. It's a [heck] of a lot more fun when you have the guy, but we've gone through this before."
Isringhausen had hip surgery this past winter, but he had been pitching extremely well and pain-free before feeling something catch in his side on Tuesday night.
"The black cloud is starting to come over my head again," Isringhausen said. "I thought I had it away from me for a while. I was just starting to get to where I wanted to be and throwing the ball good, and then this happens."
In 2003, the Cards went through a series of ninth-inning options while Isringhausen recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. This time around, Tavarez will likely provide an effective ninth-inning option -- it's the seventh and eighth that become more of an issue. Tavarez and King make for an effective setup combination. Now, Al Reyes, Jimmy Journell, Randy Flores and the newly called up Carmen Cali will pitch in higher-leverage situations.
"It's always an opportunity for someone else," La Russa said. "A guy like Jim Journell, he'll get a chance. That's the flip side of somebody getting hurt."
The Cardinals recalled Cali from Triple-A Memphis to take Isringhausen's roster spot. The club was unwilling to place a timetable on how long Isringhausen may be out.
Ideally, the Cards would have liked to buy some time and send out a position player while calling up Cali. However, Cali was sent to the Minors eight days ago, and so he could not be recalled except in case of an injury on the Major League club. As a result, Isringhausen went on the DL immediately rather than simply being shelved, but remaining on the active roster.
La Russa did not rule out the possibility of adding another pitcher in the coming days as the Cardinals sort out who will do what jobs in the bullpen. St. Louis doesn't have a day off until May 16.
Sanders doing OK: Reggie Sanders still has some pain in his left hand after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday night, but the outfielder is doing "better than expected." La Russa said that Sanders could be available to pinch-hit in Wednesday's game, and both men were hopeful that Sanders could start on Thursday against the Brewers.
Sanders was smacked on the padding on the outside of his hand in the eighth inning, and was immediately removed from the game. So Taguchi took his place in the lineup on Wednesday.
Today in Busch history: On April 27, 1989, Scott Terry did it all. The right-hander tossed eight strong innings for a 10-1 win over the Giants, allowing a run on eight hits and a walk. He also came up big at the plate with a single, a double and a triple, three RBIs and a sac bunt, to boot. Thanks to Project Retrosheet for the information.
Countdown: With the official completion of Wednesday's game, 69 regular-season games remain at the current Busch Stadium before the Cardinals move into the new Busch Stadium. Turning over the right-field countdown clock from 70 to 69 on Wednesday was former St. Louis reliever Ken Dayley. The lefty pitched for the Redbirds from 1984-1990.
Baby 'Birds: Kevin Jarvis kept up his outstanding pitching for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, picking up the win in a 4-1 victory over Omaha. Chris Duncan had three hits for Memphis. ... Double-A Springfield allowed four unearned runs in the eighth to lose, 5-2, to Tulsa. Jordan Pals held the drillers to a run over six innings before the Springfield bullpen and defense got in trouble. ... Chris Lambert improved to 3-0 by allowing a run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk as Class A Palm Beach beat Brevard County, 7-3. Matt Dryer hit his fifth home run. ... Jarrett Hoffpauir, Joe Mather and Matt Shepherd each reached base three times as Class A Quad Cities came from down 5-0 to beat Dayton, 6-5.
The player of the day was Jarvis, whose ERA dropped to a microscopic 0.78. The veteran right-hander permitted a run on six hits, striking out seven and not walking a batter.
Coming up: The Cards and Brewers wrap up their three-game series with a makeup game on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Jason Marquis will try to go to 4-0 as he faces left-hander Chris Capuano. On Friday, the Cardinals start a six-game road trip with a 6:35 p.m. CT start against the Braves. That game will feature Mark Mulder against his former Oakland teammate, Tim Hudson.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.