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Chris Carpenter is starting Game 7 on short rest

Oct 28, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter celebrates after getting Texas Rangers' Mike Napoli to fly out and end the 6th inning of Game 5 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in Arlington

UPDATE: It’s official, Carpenter is starting on short rest.

Here’s Tony La Russa’s rather simple explanation, via R.B. Fallstrom of the Associated Press:

“He’s the guy our club wants to have out there, and he’s ready to take it. Plain and simple. He’s our guy.”

==========

Tony La Russa might wait until the last possible moment to officially announce tonight’s Game 7 starter, but Matthew Leach of MLB.com reports that the Cardinals will turn to Chris Carpenter on short rest.

Leach tweeted the following shortly after emerging from the Cardinals’ clubhouse last night:

Was told by someone who would most definitely know: “You know who’s starting tomorrow.”

Kyle Lohse has been the scheduled Game 7 starter and Jake Westbrook or Edwin Jackson are other options, but Wednesday night’s rainout pushed everything back by one day and allows La Russa to turn to Carpenter on three days’ rest.

Carpenter had never started on short rest during his entire career until Game 1 of the NLDS versus the Phillies. And he struggled, allowing four runs in three innings while walking three and striking out two. Since then he’s 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four starts, including a complete-game shutout against Philadelphia in his follow-up to the short-rest outing.

Generally speaking pitchers starting on short rest have a pretty terrible playoff track record during the past decade or so and Carpenter making just one (poor) short-rest start in 14 seasons as a big leaguer makes him a big question mark, but if he wants the ball and the alternatives are Lohse, Jackson, or Westbrook it’s not hard to see why La Russa would put the entire season in the hands of his ace.

  1. jhastrello - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    It’s not simply the short 3 day rest, but that combined with the 8 month long season that wears on them.

  2. umrguy42 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Not like the others won’t be ready out of the bullpen if Carp falters anyway. Last game is all hands on deck. No Popeye’s for the Cards pitchers! (Except maybe Garcia.)

  3. Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Uhh- ohhh…..

    With all the “G*D DAMMITS” & ^$&^$^%’s Carp throws around, Josh Hamilton Hearing God. And Harold Camping’s predictions, what are we in for tonight? Fire? Brimstone? Or just good baseball? FYI I was praying the Cards won it last night. It means one more night of the best sport ever invented….

    • shea801 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Calvinball?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      I am torn Jonny. I want to give you a thumbs up for your best sport ever invented comment. I really want to. But with the Carp cursing comments I feel like I would be selling him out if I did so. Decisions…decisions…decisions. LOL!

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        You can still cheer for him and acknowledge that he’s an ass while pitching (or in general, which I’m not sure of in Carp’s case).

        How do you think Cubs fans have delt with Zambrano!

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        Lol, It’s all about balance my friend….. You know, for such a baby face Carp does have a potty mouth on him…..

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        LOL! Yeah really Alex. Great point.

  4. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Pictured: Chris Carpenter, most likely engaging in the act of being a horse’s ass.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Pictured: Chris Carpenter, most likely making the previous hitter look like a horse’s ass while trying to hit his curveball.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        That’s fine, as long as the hitter didn’t get all mad and scream or anything. We all know that’s bad form … just ask Chris.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        Come on Chip…get off the “hatetrain.” Let’s leave that for Jerry Springer shall we?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        And Chip…as a Cardinals fan….I will admit he can get under my skin at times. My Father can’t stand him. But I (along with my Father and a multitude of Cardinal Nation)…will tell you there is noone we would rather have taking the ball for us. I think if you look back in the history of the game…a huge number of your best pitchers can all be considered pricks, a-holes, “horse’s asses”, etc…
        Please know I am NOT making excuses for him as there is none and he doesn’t need it anyway. I am just simply stating that being a prick (while also being a dominant pitcher) is not so….rare.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        I’m not real sure I get the Jerry Springer comment.

        Anyway, I’m sure it’s easier for you to look past the fact that Carpenter is a giant douche since he’s on your favorite team. I get that. It’s just that many fans seem so eager to call out the behavior of other teams’ players — the Brewers and Reds come to mind — when they’re generally willing to ignore questionable actions from guys who wear the “right” uniform.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        The Jerry Springer comment is in reference to the “all drama…all the time” when it comes to people jumping on the “hatetrain.” Again…all drama…all the time.
        As for the antics of other teams because they don’t wear the “right uniform”…
        I couldn’t agree more. In fact…you state it very well.
        Example: #4 for the Redlegs is a smack talking chump…along with little Joanie Cueto.
        But the difference is…I have no problems openly admitting that (if given the choice)…there might be only two OTHER 2nd Baseman in all of MLB I would rather have on my team than #4 of the Redlegs. I also openly admit that Carp gets under my skin at times.
        I also openly admit I still would not have anyone else take the ball for me.
        See how that works with me?

      • CJ - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        Chip, all I got out of his comment was that stlouis1baseball watches Springer. Now I understand.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        CJ: Hahaha! That IS funny. It literally made me laugh out loud.
        Not big on the drama…life is too short. As a result, Springer is BLOCKED.

  5. dodger88 - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    While I have been pulling for Texas, I hope Carpenter does well as I would love to see more pitchers have success on short rest. It is only pitchers of Carpenter’s calibre that get asked to pitch on short rest because of how good they are. With all due respect, wouldn’t one prefer to see Carpenter than Lohse in a big game? Sabathia over Hughes, Weaver over Santana, Kershaw over Lilly, etc.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Absolutely Dodger. Very valid point(s). While it didn’t go real well the last time for him…I agree with you 100%. I am sure TLR will have him on a very short leash though
      Just one very important question…with you being an NL guy…why in hell would you be pulling for the American League. If I (or anyone I know) were to do such a thing…I would consider myself/them a sellout. NL..NL…NL..

      • dodger88 - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        In general I am an NL over AL guy but in this case I am siding with the team looking for their first championship in 51 years of existence. I’m also Canadian so the Jays woudl get my support unless they played my boys in blue.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        I want the Rangers to win and I’m a fan of an NL team. So I’m a sellout in your opinion?

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      There was a time when a pitcher would expect to throw 500 innings per season. I think our perception of short rest is exaggerated by the amount of money they now stand to make, or lose by ending a career early.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        Sure Jonny. I can see where you are coming from with that line of thinking.
        I also think we have now gotten to the point where today’s pitchers simply can’t go like they used to in the early days of Baseball. Early on…pitchers pitched all the time.
        Hell…Dizzy Dean pitched both bills of double freaking headers!
        But…their arm strength was built up as a direct result of all the innings thrown at the time.
        Now…we have sorta’ “sissified” today’s pitchers with all the 5 man rotations.
        Less innings = less arm strength. At least that is my opinion anyway.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

        Alex: Yes…absolutely…without a doubt.
        #1 rule…always…always…always…stay in league.
        However, I am also fully aware of your being a Cubs fan so I am gonna cut you some slack.
        Speaking of which…
        If hell ever does actually freeze over and you guys make it…staying in league is going to be real tough for me to do. Hypocritical? most certainly but I call it like I see it! LOL!

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        Why is that the “#1 rule”? I cheer for the NL in the All Star game, but beyond that I could care less. I really don’t understand league pride. I pick and choose teams that I like better or worse without worrying about their league affiliation.

        Really…can someone please explain why you think a fan should have league pride?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        Alex: It’s quite simple…you are either an NL guy or an AL guy. Where I am from…I am surrounded by Cubs and Redlegs fans. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM (caps for emphasis purposes only) root for the NL. Why? Because they are NL guys. That is it. Nothing more to it. I am going to guess you are a young guy. Early 20’s maybe?

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        It just doesn’t make sense to me to cheer for a league. If it is just tradition then so be it. I’m not going to cheer for a certain team/league for tradition’s sake. I don’t think that it makes me or anyone who cheers like me a sellout because we never bought in.

        And I’m 29.

      • Alex K - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        Also, stl- Are you from Indiana? Because you make your area sound very familiar to the place I grew up, in Indiana.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        If I have no particular negative or positive feelings about the teams in the World Series, I will use league as the tie breaker…but that is about it. For example, for whatever reason I have an extreme disdain for Nolan Ryan, so I am rooting for the Cardinals.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 28, 2011 at 5:00 PM

      Make a list of the very best starting pitchers, the guys you would want to start the most important game of the season. Cross off the guys whose teams aren’t in the World Series. Your list should consist of Chris Carpenter. Even pitching on short rest, you put him out there.

      Last night, there were 15 pitchers used (8 Rangers, 7 Cards). That may or may not be a record for a World Series game. As a frame of reference, 1975 Game 6 (Red Sox-Reds, Fisk homer in the 12th) had 12 pitchers. If last night was a record, it could fall tonight. TLR and Wash won’t save a pitcher for tomorrow, because there is no tomorrow.

  6. spudchukar - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Gotta wonder if TLR is tempted to start Craig in CF if Holliday is okay to go? Even possibly Theriot at 2B. With the quick hook in play for the Rangers, I would like to see them in there early and then go to Jay and Punto later.

    Also gotta wonder who Washington will go to out of the pen if Harrison struggles?

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Great point(s) spud. Bring em’ in late in the game for defense….but A.C. scares the hell out of me in center field. I mean…really scares me. I am thinking you put Lance in Left…A.C. in right..and leave Skip in center. You would still have the J.J. option. My guess is TLR will field his best position players (w/ the exception of Skip cause’ he has been seeing (and hitting) the ball really well). But I definately see where you are coming from with your line of thinking.

    • fearlessleader - Oct 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Holliday’s already scratched and replaced on the roster by Adron Chambers, and Theriot is leading off and playing second.

  7. mojosmagic - Oct 28, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    All in the name of Tony’s quest for personal glory. Anyone want to bet Carpenter will be on the disabled list by next May.

    • fearlessleader - Oct 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM

      Oh, please. Do you want to be the one to try to pry that ball out of Carp’s hand tonight?

  8. otis52gsh - Oct 28, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    I love the Brewers, so you know who I want to win……………Go Cards!! Good luck!!!

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