10/13/2002 6:38 pm ET
MLBeat: Cards have inspiration
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Down two games to none, playing in a rather hostile environment, their World Series hopes in serious jeopardy, the Cardinals had plenty of reasons to be tense on Saturday. And they had one very good reason not to.
Kannon Kile, the 5-year-old son of the late Darryl Kile, joined the Redbirds in their dugout during Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
"It just reminds us of the (33)-year-old that was part of the family," said manager Tony La Russa. "In his own right, he's such a neat young man. He says the neatest things. ... He's a great young man, he's a great kid, comes from great parents."
One Cardinal who especially welcomed the little guy was right-hander Matt Morris, who counted Kannon's father among his best friends.
"He's just an inspiration for all of us," Morris said. "Sometimes seeing him, we want to see how he's doing and ease his pain, and he's the one that comforts us. It's amazing. He's like a miniature DK. It's good to see him laughing and hanging out with the guys again. It puts things in perspective a little bit. He'll high-five you no matter if it's a strikeout or you hit a home run. It's fun having him."
No changes: The Cardinals trotted out the same eight position players, in the same order, in Game 4 as in Game 3. Albert Pujols got his second straight start at third base in place of the injured Scott Rolen, while Eli Marrero got the call in left field. Marrero hit a game-winning solo homer in Game 3.
That leaves Miguel Cairo, who was a hero in a couple of earlier games, on the bench. Which is fine with La Russa.
"He's got that same ability off our bench," La Russa said, "and a lot of games are decided by having somebody to come up there. In this case he starts a rally, keeps it going or finishes it.
"Tomorrow against (Kirk) Rueter, might he play? Good chance."
Rolen update: The latest update on Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen is that there isn't much of an update. He continues to take small steps toward a return. Rolen played some catch and shagged a few fly balls before Sunday's game, but most of his work continues to be inside, in the batting cage. He has not yet taken infield or batting practice.
"Same as yesterday in the sense that he's working indoors," La Russa said. "If he's not doing things in the field, he's not close yet."
Tough assignment: Chuck Finley had a difficult task on Saturday, pitching the Cardinals to a win in Game 3 of the NLCS. But as far as the left-hander is concerned, he might have an even more taxing task on Sunday: watching the game.
"The intensity in these games is incredible out there," Finley said. "The electricity is unbelievable. You hang on every pitch. Gives you an ulcer watching it. I don't know how fans can do it. I don't know if they have a vested interest as we do, but ... I'd rather be out there pitching to tell you the truth."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at Matthew_H_Leach@yahoo.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.