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Healthy Pulsipher now anxious for results

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Bill Pulsipher kept telling the St. Louis Cardinals he was ready to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Now, he's hoping for some results.

The left-hander, who was sidelined from April 11 with a strained right hamstring, struggled Thursday only hours after being activated. He was charged with two of the Padres' three runs in a three-run ninth.

``Definitely, you're happy to get back out there,'' Pulsipher said. ``You've got to come in and get the ball down in the strike zone, that's the bottom line.''

It hurts Pulsipher more that he had been lobbying manager Tony La Russa. The Cardinals had wanted him to go on a long rehab assignment but he had only three outings with Triple-A Memphis.

``It was a little bit earlier than I expected, but also I was kind of egging Tony on to try to get me back here as soon as possible,'' Pulsipher said. ``I'm appreciative that I'm back and I just want to get my feet back underneath me and get going.''

La Russa didn't seem overly concerned.

``We'll give him another shot,'' he said Friday. ``We'll give him more shots.''

Pulsipher, who made the opening day roster to return to the major leagues for the first time since 2001, arrived under extenuating circumstances. He and right-hander Brad Thompson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis, didn't arrive until nearly game time Thursday after their flight out of Omaha through Dallas was delayed about two hours.

``I don't want to make excuses but it was a long day,'' Pulsipher said. ``I just want to go out there and make outs. The bottom line is get the ball down in the strike zone and I'll be all right.''

The 23-year-old Thompson, who's in the major leagues for the first time, said the delay was tougher on him than Pulsipher.

``He wasn't that stressed out,'' Thompson said. ``I think I was stressing him out.''

In other bullpen news, injured closer Jason Isringhausen did some long toss and threw 17 pitches off the mound, all but one fastballs. He's scheduled to throw again Sunday and Tuesday and hopes to be activated off the disabled list on Thursday without a rehab stint.

Isringhausen has been sidelined since April 27 with a pulled right abdominal muscle.

``Hopefully I get in the game Thursday,'' Isringhausen said. ``Oh, I don't know, it's up to them. I'm not going to put words in their mouth, it's their call.''

Isringhausen said he hasn't felt any pain for about a week.

``I just keep pushing it and pushing it, making sure I'm ready,'' Isringhausen. ``There's one exercise that I feel it and we just stopped doing that one so I don't stress it.''

Setup man Ray King, who got ejected in the eighth inning Thursday for arguing balls and strikes, said he's watched the videotape of an 0-2 pitch that he felt should have been a called strike three against Ramon Hernandez. He also led a few reporters into the video room to back up his claim.

Later in the at-bat, Hernandez hit an RBI single to give the Padres a 5-3 lead.

``I thought that pitch was right there, and that's a crucial pitch,'' King said. ``After the game I sat there and watched the tape 16 times, and 16 times it was a strike to me.''
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