Cards scramble to prepare for Burnett

Cards scramble to prepare for Burnett

ST. LOUIS -- Prepared to face Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia on Saturday night, the Cardinals were informed about four hours before first pitch that it would be A.J. Burnett, not Correia, actually taking the mound.

The pitching swap was made after Correia alerted the Pirates' staff about some discomfort in his left side. Burnett, who started the year on the disabled list after fouling a ball off his face in Spring Training, was scheduled to make his final rehab start on Saturday. Instead, he took the mound against the National League's top offense.

After being notified of the change, the Cardinals immediately got to work pulling video of Burnett's days with the Yankees. The club also found video of Burnett's spring appearances and his three Minor League rehab starts.

"They'll have something to look at," manager Mike Matheny said. "We'll go in with a good game plan."

The Cardinals' hitters would have had more familiarity with Correia, who has spent his entire career in the National League. On the other hand, only four of the team's starting eight position players on Saturday had previously faced Burnett, who is pitching in the NL for the first time since 2005.

The change in opponent did not prompt much change in his lineup, Matheny said. He was already leaning toward starting Shane Robinson in center against Correia, and Matheny stuck with Robinson in the eight-hole against Burnett.