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.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.