We already know that Chris Carpenter is starting on short rest for the Cardinals tonight. We've known that for hours, and some might argue that we've known that for days. It was pretty easy to see this coming the instant Wednesday's Game 6 got rained out.
And Carpenter might pitch very well. He might pitch very well for a long time. Though he struggled in his first short rest appearance back in the NLDS, he claims to have learned a lot from that experience. Who's to say now?
But in the event that Carpenter labors a little, or in the event that Tony La Russa needs someone out of his bullpen to soak up a few innings, who's it going to be? Probably not the guy you expected.
Westbrook will be 1st long man tonight LaRussa says
What's the deal? For one thing, La Russa likes the way Westbrook has thrown lately, and doesn't like the way Lohse and Jackson have thrown. For another, Westbrook is a ground ball pitcher. Over his career, 59 percent of all balls in play he's allowed have stayed on the ground. La Russa likes to think of Westbrook's ground ball tendencies as a way to combat the Rangers' power.
This may or may not be worth anything, but according to Baseball-Reference, the Rangers had baseball's second-best OPS against fly ball pitchers. They had baseball's top OPS against neutral pitchers. They had baseball's seventh-best OPS against ground ball pitchers. It's something. It could be nothing, but it's something. I think that sentence makes sense but you might have to crawl inside my brain to understand.