La Russa says Carpenter would be ready for a Game Seven

October 27, 2011 6:21 AM0 commentsViews: 12

La Russa says Carpenter would be ready for a Game Seven

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was not singing the blues over Wednesday’s World Series postponement as the extra day meant he could likely use ace Chris Carpenter in a Game Seven.

“I was told by Carp that he would be ready to go,” La Russa told reporters at Busch Stadium after forecasts for rain forced Major League Baseball to reschedule Game Six for Thursday.

The Texas Rangers will have a say in that as the American League champions can clinch their first Fall Classic with a win on Thursday since they hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven.

Jaime Garcia, 0-2 in the 2011 playoffs with a 3.97 earned run average but coming off seven shutout innings, will take the mound hoping to stave off elimination for the Cardinals while Colby Lewis, 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA, goes for Texas.

“We were supposed to play today, so you want to play,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said as his players tossed the ball around in the outfield as a light rain fell.

“But we’re not playing, so we came in and we got some work done, and once we finish everything that we wanted to do today, we’ll get on the bus and head back to the hotel and come back tomorrow because we will play baseball tomorrow.”

The washed out day means a Cardinals Game Six win would extend the series to a deciding Game Seven on Friday, giving Carpenter three days rest before the assignment.

Starting pitchers routinely get four days of rest between starts, but Carpenter showed he can work on short rest during the divisional playoff series against Philadelphia.

Major League Baseball called off Wednesday’s game because of predictions of rain through the night.

“Every forecast we’ve had probably for the last three days is calling for precipitation during the game,” said Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations.

“As long as you have a forecast that we’re expecting clear weather tomorrow, and, if necessary, the next day (for a possible Game Seven), I think that was more of a decision maker than anything else.”

Major League Baseball made the call to postpone the game mindful of the rain-plagued Game Five of the 2008 World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies.

That game was staged in a steady rain that made puddles on the infield and slippery conditions before Commissioner Bud Selig announced the game would be suspended with the score 2-2 in the sixth inning and completed once the weather improved.

The teams had to wait through another drenching day before returning to the stadium two days after the initial start to complete a 4-3 victory that gave Philadelphia the title.

“We conferred with both local and national reports,” said Torre. “They were all consistent in saying there was going to be rain during the game. Maybe not enough to stop it, but maybe enough to stop it. And that was enough to make this decision.”

The energetic Washington, whose excitement in the dugout has been regularly featured in broadcasts of the game, seemed disappointed.

“At this point when you’re able to play, you play,” said the Texas manager. “We’re not getting antsy, we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We just have to wait. So that’s it.”

La Russa, who has spent more than a day defending tactical moves and communication gaffes that kept him from using the relief pitcher he wanted in a critical spot in Monday’s Game Five loss in Texas, sounded relieved.

“A day off is a day off. I can’t do anything wrong,” joked the Cardinals skipper. “Could run a stop light or something.”

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