ST. LOUIS -- A day after returning to the Cardinals' lineup, David Freese was back on the sideline Tuesday, as manager Mike Matheny opted to instead start Matt Carpenter at third base.
The decision, Matheny said, was not reflective of any setback Freese incurred while playing seven innings in the Cardinals' 13-4 loss on Monday. Rather, he intended to start Freese only twice in this three-game series and saw Wednesday's matchup against Homer Bailey as more favorable than against right-hander Bronson Arroyo.
Freese will enter the game 3-for-14 with two home runs against Bailey. He is 1-for-12 against Arroyo.
Freese, too, confirmed that his back felt fine a day after his first big league appearance of the season. He showed no limitations, either, as he participated in afternoon fielding work and batting practice.
Tough losses hard to bounce back from early in season
ST. LOUIS -- Despite the common mantra, manager Mike Matheny admitted on Tuesday that not all losses are created equal. And he took Monday's last at-bat defeat especially hard.
The sting lingered partially because of how the game slipped away over the final two innings but also because it soured an afternoon that had been all about celebrating baseball's return to St. Louis for the 2013 season.
"You can't help but buy into all the excitement of Opening Day," Matheny said. "Getting to the eighth inning in a situation where we wanted to be and in a position where we felt real comfortable in the past. We all know not to take things for granted, and I don't think we did. It just didn't turn out the way we wanted it to.
"Then it got to the ugly side, which compounded what could have been a really good day into a really bad one. I know that these guys all believe, like I do, that that just didn't show the kind of team that we are. That's frustrating."
Matheny then offered an interesting comparison to illustrate why, perhaps, this loss -- and two other one-run defeats in the first seven games of the season -- have been particularly tough to shake.
"A lot of it is getting in shape, too," he began. "I forgot how tough it was to jump time zones. Nobody was sleeping there for a while. No excuse, but the whole reason for me bringing it up is your body has to get accustomed to it. I don't think we're in shape emotionally to handle tough losses yet either. During the long haul of the season, you just get accustomed to it. But you almost forget. I forgot about how hard these losses are when they come tough like yesterday."
• A day after sliding around home plate and into Yadier Molina as he tried to score on a fielder's choice, Cincinnati's Chris Heisey explained the odd decision to slide where he did.
"To be honest with you, I guess for a split-second, I was thinking I needed to take him out so he couldn't throw Brandon [Phillips] out," Heisey said on Tuesday. "It was a brain [cramp], that's all. I went up to Yadi the next at-bat and said, 'I just had a brain [cramp]. I wasn't going after you or anything. I forgot you had to tag me and not just step on the plate.' He was actually really nice to me and was like, 'Hey dude, don't worry about it. It happens.'"
• Top prospect Oscar Taveras made his Triple-A debut on Monday night, going 1-for-2 with an RBI single and run scored. Taveras missed the start of Memphis' season after needing to travel home to the Dominican Republic for a family matter.
• Triple-A outfielder Jamie Romak tied a Memphis record with three home runs in Monday's 18-2 win over New Orleans. The other four Redbirds to homer three times in one game include Chris Haas (1998), Billy Selby (2003), Rick Ankiel (2007) and Josh Phelps (2008).
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.