The ugly purple bruise on Michael Cuddyer's right forearm, and the swelling just above his wrist, seemed to indicate there was no chance he would play Monday afternoon against the Astros.

But there he was, a day after getting drilled by fastball, lobbying manager Walt Weiss to let him enter the game.

Cuddyer was inserted as a pinch hitter in the 10th inning. And in the 12th, he nearly chased down Brandon Barnes' game-winning, ground-rule double into the right-field corner.

Yes, Cuddyer makes $10.5 million a year. But few players want to earn their keep more than Cuddyer. When he looks at the lineup card and he's not on it, it bothers him.

"I took some swings during the game, and I told Walt I was fine," Cuddyer said after the 3-2 defeat. "I think I'll be in there (Tuesday)."

Weiss seemed surprised Cuddyer could answer the call.

"I was going to stay away from Cuddy, but he was swinging during the game and he convinced me that he was OK," Weiss said.

No interleague fan. Weiss was old-school when he played, and he's old-school as a manager. That explains his reaction to the new interleague "rivalry" with the Astros.

"I'm kind of lukewarm on interleague play, to be honest," Weiss said. "I like the fact that the leagues used to be separate. I know it creates some pretty cool matchups, but I'm still a big fan of the separate leagues."

The Astros switched to the American League this season, and that takes some getting used to.

"It's just weird to me," Weiss said. "It's hard for me to fathom that the Astros are in the American League. It was late (Sunday) night before I realized I'd need a DH today. I just don't think of them as an AL club."