Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals Recall Pham, Demote Grichuk

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cardinals Recall Pham, Demote Grichuk

Article excerpt

When the Cardinals ship one of their own to the minors, as they did Saturday with struggling outfielder Randal Grichuk, manager Mike Matheny reminds everyone who will listen that the majors are a hard place to "get right."

The situation freshly recalled Tommy Pham found himself in Saturday evening illustrated why.

Two outs. Bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals trailed the Texas Rangers 4-3.

Pham, appearing in his first major league game since opening day, battled Rangers reliever Jake Diekman to a full count, then scorched a line drive straight into first baseman Ryan Rua's glove.

This wasn't the re-introduction Pham hoped for. The line out and a strikeout were all he had to show after pinch-hitting for starter Carlos Martinez, then replacing Matt Holliday in left field.

Pham knows he needs to produce to remain. Grichuk's inability to do so is the reason he's here.

"I'm happy to be back, just for the opportunity," Pham said after the Cardinals' fourth consecutive loss. "At the same time, I know I have to perform well, because I want to stay. I need to be a tough out."

"This is a game where no one feels sorry for you," he added. "You have to go out there and have the mindset where you have to eat to survive. Nobody cares about how you are feeling. Fans don't care about that. Just go out there and find a way to get it done."

It's a hard lesson the 28-year-old has learned often throughout an injury-plagued career that seemed ready to peak this season. Some might have forgotten by now that Pham started in left field on opening day. He was the Cardinals' fourth outfielder before Jeremy Hazelbaker became a household name.

The injury to his side that spoiled his start occurred during the first batting practice of the season at Pittsburgh's frigid PNC Park. Pham came off the disabled list May 17, but he said he didn't feel right until about two weeks after that. Even then he didn't force the Cardinals' hand. In Memphis he averaged .236 in 110 at- bats.

"It surprised me how long it took me to get going in Memphis," Pham said. "Because I've had success there in previous years. When you have success, your expectations are sky high. …

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