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Cardinals to use Chris Carpenter on short rest in Game 2

Sep 30, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

Chris Carpenter Getty Images

Tony La Russa announced a change in the Cardinals’ presumed playoff rotation, going with Chris Carpenter on short rest in Game 2 against the Phillies.

Carpenter threw a complete-game shutout against the Astros on Wednesday, allowing just two hits and one walk, but did need 106 pitches. And as Jayson Stark of ESPN.com notes, Carpenter has never made a start on short rest in his entire 14-year career. And that includes the playoffs.

Kyle Lohse will start Game 1 for the Cardinals and La Russa will go with Jaime Garcia in Game 3. No word yet on the Game 4 assignment, but Edwin Jackson seems likely, with Jake Westbrook the other possibility.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    This was actually pretty funny…Phillies beat writer David Murphy obviously spent quite a bit of time researching and writing an article attempting to explain TLR’s initial pitching rotation then going on to say that he was wrong. Well written piece. I will link it at the bottom. 20 minutes after it was posted, LaRussa changed the rotation. Which prompted Murphy to tweet something like the following: Series hasn’t even started and LaRussa is making my life hell with pitching changes

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/What-Tony-La-Russa-is-thinking-and-why-he-is-wrong.html

    • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      I believe that is the point.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      I’m so done with Philly.com. It started with their stupid video that came on, with audio, every time you went to a link. Then they added the meg popover ad. Then they moved the video ad to some place down the page where you have to seek it out to turn it off. I hear their next step is to have a little guy pop out of the pc and take a dump on your carpet.

      I’ve had more positive experiences with websites that installed viruses on my computer.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        mega. not meg. although I’m sure there’s some witch named Meg behind all this.

      • cleverbob - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        You can change it so that videos are muted in your preferences.

  2. spudchukar - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Maybe Starks is correct, but I would bet against it.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      According to baseball reference he is indeed correct.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=carpech01&year=Career&t=p

      • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        Perhaps I am confused by the “Starts” modification. He could well have pitched on shorter rest in relief, and maybe that is what I remember. But then all the women I used to date were knockouts.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      This is really the only choice to make. I called it out on one of the other HBT threads and a Cardinals thread yesterday. Pretty simple…we need a split in Philly. Jaime (despite his pitching really well in Philly)…has splits that are atrocious. He is lights out at home but struggles mightily on the road. Do you want a 2nd Year Pitcher pitching game #2 of the Playoffs on the road with his kind of Home/Road splits? Again…the Cardinals need a split in Philadelphia. As a result…
      Game #1 = Lohse
      Game #2 = Carp (on short rest)
      Game #3 = Jaime (where he is comfortable)
      Game #4 = Jackson
      Game #5 = Bob Gibson

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        Not surprised at all, gotta get 1 in Philly and Garcia is so much better in STL.

        Jaime absolutely stunk in his last outing in Houston as well, not sure how well he’d respond to any early adversity either..

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:16 PM

        Much of Garcia’s home-road splits this year are from him getting blown up at Coors: 12 runs (11 earned) in 3.1 inn….removing that performance lowers his road ERA nearly a run.

  3. ncphilliesguy - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Why wouldn’t LaRussa pitch Garcia in game 2 and then have Carpenter on full rest in game 3? I guess he wants Garcia to pitch at home, but it seems kind of nuts to me. Garcia has pitched well against the Phils. I really don’t like LaRussa, he’s like Andy Reid, he always has to feel like he is the smartest guy in the room. Maybe he will change the rotation again.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      Carpenter can pitch game 5 on normal rest if he pitches game 2.

      As a Phillies’ fan, I’m cool with that. Garcia throws the kind of frustrating slop that confounds the Phillies. I’d rather have them face Carpenter, even though he is the better pitcher.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        Yep. The Phillies have never hit Garcia. Not once. The less they see of him the better.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        Good point Hooligan. Carp pitching on normal rest for Game #5 is an added bonus. But more than anything…the Cardinals need a split in Philly so they are going with the Pitcher who best gives them the opportunity.

  4. hansob - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    It’s funny. I was going to post how they should have pulled Carpenter earlier (say after 7 innings), since they had a 7-0, 8th inning, insurmountable lead, but then I realized the unintentional humor.

    • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      Actually, I would have been in favor of an early exit for Carpenter, but with the number of devastating losses the Cards have suffered late in games, it was probably prudent to let Carp finish, it was only 106 pitches, gain some more confidence and assure themselves of a play-off berth.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM

        Yep…not to mention there was virtually no one left in the bullpen at that point. I mean…Motte was probably available. But when you pitch your #4 (Edwin Jackson) in relief two games prior that pretty much tells you where the bullpen is. The bullpen got some much needed rest with Carp pitching a complete game.

  5. badmamainphilliesjamas - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Roster posted . . . Blanton in, Herndon out
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/Roster-officially-set-Gload-update.html

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      I would have taken Orr over Martinez. I realize that if either have to see significant action then something went horribly wrong, so they will probably be limited to pinch running duties. Orr is simply faster and a better base runner.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        Agreed. Even with the injection, will probably need to pinch run for Gload, and maybe even for Howard late in the game.

  6. Jonny 5 - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I don’t see how it matters all that much since the pitchers of the Phillies have a tendency to be very equal in terms of quality. I wouldn’t use a guy on short rest in a 5 game series unless it’s the tie breaker and he dominated the hitting of the Phills. It sounds like TLR isn’t sleeping much. “The Grudge” is after him…..

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      If you are St. Louis and you gotta’ have a split…whould you choose a 2nd Year starter who continually struggles on the road or your Ace (short rest or not)? This also give Carp normal rest for Game #5. Unfortunately, St. Louis doesn’t have Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Warren Sphan, Greg Maddox & Walter Johnson like you guys. As a result, these decisions have to be made.

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM

        Kind of depends on what happens in game 1…..doesn’t it?

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:26 PM

        Of course it does. Very good point. But wouldn’t it be prudent to go ahead and prepare for it?

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        Yep, it would.

        You guys know I am no LaRussa fan…but this is almost a no-win situation. If Garcia starts game 1 and sucks, it seems like a bad decision. If Lohse starts any game and sucks….it seems like a bad decision. If Carpenter struggles on short rest…it seems like a bad decision. In other words, if any of the pitchers don’t step up…there is a built in second guess….and if Lohse and Carpenter lose games 1&2 and it is all on Garcia in game 3…..well.

        LaRussa doesn’t really have any perfect options…hopefully, it’ll work out.

  7. mojosmagic - Oct 1, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see Garcia out of the bullpen. Bottom line is the Phils are a better team and if they play like it the Cards are toast.

  8. mojosmagic - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Now that Tony is headed to Chicago might as well ruin Carpenter’s surgically repaired arm for his minuscule chance at personal glory.

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