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Tag:Kyle Lohse
Posted on: October 26, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Rainout edge, if any, goes to the Rangers

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.


Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Bullpens are great, but in WS starters matter

ST. LOUIS -- The World Series managers announced their starting pitchers Tuesday.

They didn't say who will pitch the sixth inning.

Or the fifth, for that matter.

Yeah, that was a joke, a weak one, but one even the Cardinals and Rangers starters themselves are telling after two playoff rounds that at least temporarily changed the way we look at starters.

No Cardinal starter went past the fifth inning against the Brewers. No Rangers starter has thrown a pitch in the seventh inning this entire postseason.

It's enough to make you forget that both these teams had decent to good rotations during the regular season. It's enough to make you forget that the Cardinals only got through the first round because of the best-pitched game of the playoffs so far -- Chris Carpenter's three-hit shutout in Game 5 against the Phillies.

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These two bullpens are good, and these two managers aren't afraid to use them. But it's not as if they're hoping to use them early.

Really, it isn't.

"No, we haven't completely changed the game," Cardinals Game 3 starter Kyle Lohse said with a chuckle. "We're not going with 12 relievers. But I was joking about that the other day, that we're not really starters."

The Rangers rotation actually had the third-best ERA in the American League in the regular season (3.65), behind only the Rays and the Angels. The Cardinals rotation was middle of the pack, eighth in the 16-team National League at 3.81.

Both were much better over six months than they've been over the last three weeks (5.43 for the Cardinals, 5.62 for the Rangers).

"Their starting staff, by the way, is no joke," the Cardinals' Skip Schumaker said Tuesday.

Both teams are staying with the same four starters they've used through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Cardinals will go with Carpenter in Game 1, followed by Jaime Garcia, Lohse and Edwin Jackson. The Rangers have announced C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis for the first two games, but haven't yet said whether Derek Holland or Matt Harrison will start Game 3 (the other would go in Game 4).

Lewis and Wilson are the only Rangers starters who have gone past the fifth inning in this postseason, with Lewis pitching into the sixth inning twice, and Wilson doing it once.

"Trust me, we like the attention we're getting in the bullpen, but we'd love for those guys to give us seven or eight strong innings," Rangers reliever Mike Adams said. "I would love to see one of these guys go eight."

The Cardinals feel the same way.

"I told someone that it's nice to know that next year I only have to go five, with the bullpen going four," injured Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright said. "But you take the ball with the intention of throwing the last pitch. There is some solace in knowing that if you don't, the bullpen has got your back."

In this postseason, the bullpen has had the back end of the game, and in too many cases the front end of the game, too.

In the World Series, don't be shocked if that changes.

"I really think the key is going to be the starters," Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said. "And both sides have very capable starters."


Posted on: May 12, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 5:50 pm
 

And playing the part of Tony La Russa . . .

CHICAGO -- The uniform looked familiar. The sunglasses looked familiar. The hair looked familiar.

Yes, Kyle Lohse played the part well.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa remains away from the team, being treated for shingles. But in a somewhat comic tribute to the missing skipper, Lohse donned La Russa's No. 10 jersey, put on a pair of sunglasses and a La Russa wig and took the lineup card to home plate before Thursday's game against the Cubs.

Maybe it worked, too. The Cardinals scored five times in the second inning to take an early lead over the Cubs, on the way to a 9-1 win.

Better yet, La Russa appreciated the gesture.

"I already got that text," acting manager Joe Pettini said after the game.

And?

"I don't know who will be managing tomorrow," Pettini joked. "I wasn't going to let that happen, but the guys seemed to think Tony would get a kick out of it."

He did, and he no doubt got an even bigger kick out of the Cardinals' win.

La Russa is supposed to be home resting, but he has been in regular contact with Pettini, to the point of making out the daily lineup. As Pettini said, "I don't think he rests during the games."

A look at Lohse/La Russa, courtesy of a screen grab from CSN Chicago caught by a fan and posted on Twitter by @sportshuman:






Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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