Results tagged ‘ Division Series ’

Carpenter to start Sunday if series continues

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not A Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Manager Tony La Russa confirmed on Saturday that if the Cardinals’ National League Division Series against the Dodgers goes to a fourth game on Sunday, Chris Carpenter will start that game. Carpenter would be starting on three days’ rest for the first time in his Major League career.

“We wanted to wait until [Friday],” La Russa said on Saturday. “Chris played catch and passed the test, so if we play tomorrow, Chris starts.”

If the game were not an elimination game for the Cardinals, it’s likely that either John Smoltz or Kyle Lohse would have gotten the call to start. However, the Cardinals must win all three remaining games in the series in order to advance to the National League Championship Series.

Carpenter had a very difficult start in the opener of the NLDS, allowing four runs in five innings and needing 105 pitches to get 15 outs. La Russa said, however, that that slog did not deter him from going with his ace and former Cy Young winner on short rest.

“The fact is that the amount of effort he put into it was OK to consider pitching on [his fourth day],” La Russa said. “But the key thing was how he came in yesterday. And if we felt like it was a risk physically, then we had other options. But he’s good to go.”

Pitching Carpenter on Sunday also allows the Cardinals to pitch Adam Wainwright on regular rest on Tuesday if the series goes to a fifth game in Los Angeles.

“If we were playing on Monday Game 5, we wouldn’t do it,” La Russa said. “Because then you’d have to pitch him and Adam both [on short rest]. But … there is an off day Monday and Adam will be fully rested. It’s an edge that you play. It’s fair to say that we’re always careful with our pitching, and careful with Chris, and we’ll be extra careful. [We just want him to pitch] as hard as he can, as long as he can. If that’s five innings, six innings, fine. Whatever he’s got, it helps us compete in that game.”

NLDS travel day tidbits

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from cold, wet Busch Stadium. It was in the 40s and raining this afternoon, so most of today’s workout activities were canceled. A few pitchers from each team got on the field to do some throwing, and the Cardinals held some meetings, but it was an abbreviated session for sure.

I was fortunate to have a relatively easy travel day, arriving on time via a nonstop from LAX. Evidently some scribes had a rough go of it with connections and weather and the like. But no complaints here, fortunately.

Not many tidbits from the park today, but here are a few:

* As noted in an earlier entry, TLR said today that Chris Carpenter is in the mix to start a potential Game 4, and that Kyle Lohse and John Smoltz will both be listed as available relievers for Game 3.

* TLR gave a lengthy and impassioned statement in favor of Ryan Franklin today. He was asked essentially where he stood with Franklin, and whether any other options would be considered in the ninth, and emphatically stated that Franklin remains his guy. He went on at some length, but this comment was really the heart of it:

“I was very impressed, so was Dave [Duncan], so was Marty [Mason]. So the short answer is he’s got a day of rest, and if we have a chance to save it tomorrow, he will definitely be our closer.”

* The players had no complaints about the workout being cut short. I think they were happy to get the break.

No playlist. I’ll get y’all a good one tomorrow.

-M. 

Carpenter in mix for G4; Lohse, Smoltz available in relief for G3

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

ST. LOUIS —  Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has yet to decide — or at least yet to announce — a starter for a potential Game 4 of his team’s National League Division Series against the Dodgers. However, the fact that Game 3 is an elimination game for his club may have changed the equation a bit.

Initially, the Cards’ plan was to have John Smoltz and Kyle Lohse, the two primary candidates for the spot, available in relief in Games 1 and 2, then move one of them back to starting in Sunday’s Game 4. Instead, La Russa said on Friday that both right-handers will be listed as available relievers for Saturday’s Game 3. Smoltz, Lohse and Chris Carpenter are all in the mix to start on Sunday, assuming the Cardinals can force a fourth game by winning on Saturday.

Carpenter would be starting on three days’ rest, following a grueling 105-pitch, five-inning slog in Game 1. However, starting Carpenter on Sunday would allow the Cardinals to pitch Adam Wainwright on regular rest in a potential Game 5 in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“What we’re doing is we’re spending a lot of time thinking about what we do to get to Game 4,” La Russa said. “That’s definitely the priority. But whether it’s the right thing, it’s more fun anyway, we are thinking about what if 4? I think that’s the way we should think. And Chris is one of the guys that’s a possibility.”

Carpenter will not be listed as a possible reliever for the third game, no matter what. But he, Wainwright, and starter Joel Pineiro are the only ones who won’t be available to pitch. Because Saturday is an elimination game, Lohse and Smoltz will both be in the bullpen on Saturday.

“When I talk about options, I think 99 percent of our attention is on trying to get to Sunday,” La Russa said. “So everything is about Saturday. But I did mention that Chris is an option [for Game 4]. Chris is not going to be in the bullpen. But other than that, it’s the other 99 percent. We’ve got to win tomorrow. We’re going to try to win tomorrow. And then we’ll see what we shake up with, as far as alternatives.”
 

NLDS Game 2 Tidbits: Lugo, Thome, Ludwick

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

It’s an absolutely perfect day at Dodger Stadium. Seriously, 71 degrees, clear, spectacular. Great day for baseball.

*
Julio Lugo gets the start at second base today against left-hander
Clayton Kershaw, in place of Skip Schumaker. It was Schumaker against a
lefty yesterday, and in fact Randy Wolf has a bigger left-right split
than Kershaw. However, Kershaw is, in TLR’s parlance, “one of those
wipeout kind of lefties,” while Wolf isn’t so much in style.

* Jim Thome talked a little about facing the Cardinals, since he hails from Peoria, Ill.

“St.
Louis has been a great baseball town. I’ve enjoyed being in there
whether it was Interleague with Cleveland, with Philadelphia. This will
be my first time to the new park. I’m looking forward to that, and I’ve
got a lot of friends around the St. Louis area that are excited as well.

“So
it’s going to be a neat experience. It always has. I’ve always said St.
Louis is probably fans-wise one of the better baseball cities in the
game. So it’s fun to go there and feel that atmosphere towards
baseball. They did a wonderful job there.”

Another Thome note:
For his regular-season CAREER, he has a .430/.565/1.010 line in 131
plate appearances against the Cardinals. That’s a 1.575 OPS.

*
Ryan Ludwick talked a little bit more about the ball he hit down the
line last night, but both he and TLR said they have yet to see a
conclusive replay on it. I haven’t either — anyone find some way to
get a really good look at it?

Today’s playlist is all GNR in honor of Slash’s playing of the anthem today:
“Rocket Queen”
“Used To Love Her”
“Dead Horse”
“Civil War”
“Coma”

-M.

Game 2 lineup; tidbits to follow

Here’s the Cardinals’ Game 2 lineup against LHP Clayton Kershaw:

1. Lugo 2B
2. Ryan SS
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Molina C
7. DeRosa 3B
8. Rasmus CF
9. Wainwright P

-M.

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