Results tagged ‘ Game 4 ’

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.”

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.”
 

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