ST. LOUIS -- Will Chris Carpenter start for the Cardinals if the World Series goes to Game 7?
I'm not sure about that, but I do know that Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and the rest of the strong Rangers bullpen is better rested and more prepared now that a rainout delayed Game 6 by a day.
"That's a huge advantage for us," Adams said Wednesday. "It can only help us. We've pitched a lot, and now [on Thursday], we'll be fully rested.
"Any day of rest, we'll take it."
And more rest for the talented but heavily worked Rangers pen makes the rainout a slight advantage for Texas, no matter whether it puts Carpenter in play for Game 7 or not.
The Rangers will also have starters Derek Holland and C.J. Wilson available out of the bullpen for Thursday's rescheduled Game 6, as well as for a Game 7, if needed, on Friday. Manager Ron Washington repeated Wednesday, for the third straight day, that Matt Harrison will remain his Game 7 starter.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, for the third straight day, was mum on his Game 7 plans. He said he discussed it with pitching coach Dave Duncan, but that they opted not to make a decision until after Game 6.
"[They'll] want a probable," La Russa said. "Bob Gibson's here, so we'll send Bob."
With the schedule pushed back a day, Carpenter becomes a possibility, but the Cardinals ace would be starting on three days' rest. He has started on short rest just once in his career, in Game 2 of this year's Division Series against the Phillies, and he allowed four runs in three innings.
The recent history of starters used on short rest isn't good.
"I was told by Carp he'd be ready to go," La Russa said.
It's possible that La Russa could stick with Game 3 starter Kyle Lohse as his starter for a Game 7, with Carpenter available at the first sign of trouble. By doing it that way, he could shorten the innings Carpenter would be asked to throw on short rest.
La Russa said Wednesday that he expects Game 4 starter Edwin Jackson to be available in the bullpen for Game 6. As for Carpenter's availability out of the bullpen Thursday, La Russa hedged.
"No chance," he said, before pausing and then adding, "little chance."
La Russa said that in his opinion, the rainout won't be a factor in who wins the World Series.
"I don't think it adds anything to our competitive chances, or theirs," he said.
If the Cardinals win Game 6, Washington will no doubt face another round of questions on starting Holland, who was brilliant in the Rangers' 4-0 Game 4 win. Don't expect Washington to make a change, though.
"Harrison is my seventh game pitcher," he said emphatically. "I am not changing the things we've done all year. That's why we're here."
Washington knows that as good as Holland looked on Sunday night, the 25-year-old left-hander's season was marked by inconsistency. Remember, this is a guy who threw a four-hit shutout on July 30 in Toronto, then followed it up five days later by getting knocked out in the second inning against the Indians.
Besides, Washington believes that the best thing a manager can do is to show his players a consistent front, and not be seen to be uncertain or panicky. He chose Harrison before the World Series began to start Games 3 and 7, and he won't change because Holland outpitched Harrison the first time around.
The Rangers players don't expect him to.
"Harry's been a massive part of our team," Michael Young said Wednesday. "He's earned it. But that's getting ahead of ourselves."
Up three games to two in the Series, the Rangers would obviously prefer that there isn't a Game 7.
They also would have preferred that Game 6 wasn't rained out. But if there's any advantage that comes from the rainout, I'm saying it goes to Texas -- Carpenter or no Carpenter.