Cards' move gets McClellan back on mound

Cards' move gets McClellan back on mound

Cards' move gets McClellan back on mound
ST. LOUIS -- With rain threatening imminently, the Cardinals made a last-minute change in their starting lineup on Friday night, and it ended up paying off.

Approximately 15 minutes before the first pitch of their game against the Reds, the Cardinals announced that Miguel Batista would start in place of Kyle McClellan. It's not an entirely uncommon tactic for a team facing a rain delay. The idea was that if a lengthy rain delay strikes early in the game, the starter might be limited to only one or two innings, essentially wasting his start.

That's exactly what happened, as the skies opened up and the game was delayed after a mere six pitches. When play resumed more than two hours later at 9:30 p.m. CT, the Cardinals had McClellan ready to go, and he came in to face Brandon Phillips with a runner on second base. Reds starter Edinson Volquez, meanwhile, was removed from the game after the delay in favor of Matt Maloney.

Batista last started a game on July 27, 2010, also as a spot starter -- in that case, standing in for Stephen Strasburg with the Nationals.