Chris Carpenter threw 101 pitches last night, holding the Rangers to two runs over seven innings, and afterward wasted no time saying that he’ll be available out of the bullpen if the series goes to Game 7.
For now Kyle Lohse is the Cardinals’ scheduled Game 7 starter, but manager Tony La Russa’s confidence in him isn’t exactly at an all-time high and Carpenter responded “absolutely” when asked if he’d be able to pitch some in relief.
Adding to the intrigue is that there’s a 75 percent chance of rain for tomorrow, so if Game 6 is pushed back to Thursday and the Cardinals can extend the series with a victory Carpenter (and C.J. Wilson) would be working on three days’ rest in Game 7.
Carpenter started on three days’ rest for the first time in his career during the NLDS, although it didn’t go particularly well. And rain or shine Ron Washington has made it very clear that Matt Harrison will start Game 7 for the Rangers.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.