By avoiding a Game 7 in the NLCS the Cardinals are able to line up their rotation for the World Series, which means Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 against the Rangers.
He’ll be matched up against C.J. Wilson, although Texas hasn’t made that official yet.
Carpenter was needed for Game 162 of the regular season and Game 5 of the NLDS–and he threw complete-game shutouts in both starts–so Kyle Lohse and Jaime Garcia got the Game 1 assignments in the first two playoff rounds.
Carpenter finished the regular season on fire, going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his final five starts, but surrounded the NLDS gem against the Phillies with a pair of poor playoff outings (one of them on short rest).
He tossed eight shutout innings versus the Tigers in his lone World Series start in 2006. He was also with the Cardinals during their previous run to the World Series in 2004, but didn’t pitch because of an injury. For his playoff career the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner is 7-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 starts.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.