2011 NLDS: Phillies And Cardinals Prepare For Game 5 In Philadelphia

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Cardinals vs. Phillies: David Freese, Edwin Jackson Send Series Back East

Jackson allowed two runs in six innings, Freese drove in four runs with a double and a homer, and this series will pick up with a decisive Game 5 in Philadelphia on Friday.


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Chris Carpenter Now Starting Game 2 On Short Rest For Cardinals

Previously, we had heard that the St. Louis Cardinals would pitch Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, and Chris Carpenter in the first three games of their NLDS matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies. But now we have a change. Derrick Goold:

Carpenter is going Game 2 per La Russa.

Additionally, Carpenter isn't just swapping places with Jackson - the new rotation will go Lohse, Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia, with Jackson and Jake Westbrook available out of the bullpen over the weekend. In this way, Carpenter matches up against Cliff Lee, and becomes a possibility for a Game 5.

Why is this interesting? Because it's risky. Why is this risky? Because, historically, pitchers have performed considerably worse on short rest than they have on regular rest. Carpenter has never started on short rest even once in his life. So this is a gamble. But Tony La Russa believes that Carpenter didn't really exhaust himself when pitching a two-hit shutout against the Astros on Wednesday, and Carpenter is the best starter on the roster.


Phillies, Cardinals Set Rotations For NLDS

The good news: The Cardinals made the playoffs behind a fantastic performance from Chris Carpenter!

The bad news: Well, now he can't pitch until the third game of the NLDS, and it turns out that a 42-year-old Donovan Osborne could have held the huge lead in the last game of the season. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

But according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have set their rotation for the NLDS:

Lohse/EJax/Carp against Halladay/Lee/Hamels in NLDS.

So that's Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, and Carpenter for the Cards in the first three games. They'll face a Phillies rotation that's had all sorts of time to get prepared and lined up, so there aren't any surprises there. Roy Halladay will go for the first game, Cliff Lee in the second, and Cole Hamels for the third. A fourth game would presumably match Jaime Garcia against Roy Oswalt.

Last year the Cardinals had Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright at the top of the rotation, and they didn't make the playoffs. This year, Kyle Lohse will start the first game of the playoffs. This game doesn't make any sense.

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