Work in Sports
Pirates reliever Christiansen dealt to Cardinals
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals added a left-hander to their bullpen Sunday for the stretch run, landing Jason Christiansen from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielder Jack Wilson.
Christiansen was traded not long after allowing four of the five batters he faced to reach base in a five-run San Diego seventh inning that helped rally the Padres to a 9-8 victory.
While leaving the mound, a frustrated Christiansen flipped the ball to manager Gene Lamont, who followed him down the tunnel to the clubhouse as the two exchanged words.
"I did something you shouldn't do to a manager," Christiansen said. "You should never show up your manager. I did that when I threw the ball in the air. It's tough for me right now. I just got traded and the last thing he and I have to remember about each other is that."
Lamont wouldn't discuss the incident, but said, "He's been a good pitcher for us. He is a real commodity, a left-handed pitcher, and we'll miss him a lot."
Christiansen was especially effective against left-handers the last three seasons, but has struggled this season, going 2-8 with one save and a 4.97 ERA in 44 games. He also had a seven-game losing streak.
"We've been trying to get Christiansen for a couple of years, and we were finally able to do it," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said. "Obviously, we're in desperate need of a left-hander. He's a left-hander with quality stuff."
The trade came a day after the NL Central-leading Cardinals got right-handed reliever Mike Timlin from Baltimore. Baseball's deadline for making trades without waivers is 4 p.m. EDT Monday.
In his last two games, Christiansen allowed five hits and seven runs in 1 1-3 innings. Before that, he was scored upon only once in eight appearances.
"It definitely was a surprise," Christiansen said. "The way I pitched today, I was almost hoping I wouldn't be traded. I'm very emotional right now. I'm excited and upset at the same time."
Wilson, 22, is the second shortstop the Pirates have traded for in three days. He was hitting .294 with six homers and 34 RBIs at Double-A Arkansas and is a .323 career hitter in the minors.
"His forte is catching the ball," said Pirates hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who managed Wilson in the California Fall League last year. "He was learning how to switch hit and I was very happy with the progress he was showing from the left side.
"He has more pop from the right side and he's more of a contact hitter from the left side. I would say he isn't very far away, because he can really catch the ball."
Christiansen was 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA in 1997 and 3-3 with a 2.51 ERA in 19098 before slipping to 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA last season, despite holding batters to a .199 average. He has had neck and back problems the last two seasons and missed a week with neck spasms earlier this season.