With no pitching matchups set, let alone rosters or game times, for the National League Division Series (best of five) between the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, let’s use the open day to consider the Cardinals’ potential rotation.
As a reminder, games one and two are in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday. Games three and four (if necessary) will be played in St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday. If game five is needed, it will be back in Philly on Friday.
Kyle Lohse – Was scheduled to start Thursday’s game 163, if needed. Has the lowest ERA among the Cardinals starters at 3.39. Won at Philly on Monday, September 19 while pitching one of his best games of the year, defeating Roy Halladay. Questions about consistency.
Jaime Garcia – Has been more up and down in the second half and after signing a contract extension. Very good at home (2.55 ERA), but not on the road (4.63). Can be emotional on the mound, not always to his advantage. His most recent start was a four-inning stint on Monday.
Chris Carpenter – Pitched a complete game in Wednesday’s clincher, throwing 106 pitches. Pitching in Sunday’s game two would be on three days rest, but could line him up for a potential deciding game five or game one of the NLCS. Game three on Tuesday would give him five days off.
Edwin Jackson – Arguably the most consistent starter since having joined the team two months ago. Last pitched in relief on Tuesday with his most recent start on Sunday, September 25. A Saturday start would be considered five days rest.
Jake Westbrook – Struggled mightily against Houston on Monday. As the potential number five starter, will he be needed in the rotation in the NLDS? Would he be added to the pen or left off the first-round roster entirely?
In the following polls, you can vote for your preferred starters for the first four games. I am not including game five, as I think that could depend on how the first four games go. Please add your thought process in the comments below.
Who would you start in game one in Philly on Saturday?
- Lohse (78%, 114 Votes)
- Jackson (12%, 17 Votes)
- Garcia (10%, 16 Votes)
Total Voters: 147
Who would you start in game two in Philly on Sunday?
- Jackson (44%, 62 Votes)
- Carpenter (30%, 43 Votes)
- Garcia (19%, 27 Votes)
- Lohse (7%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 141
Who would you start in game three in St. Louis on Tuesday?
- Carpenter (64%, 90 Votes)
- Garcia (24%, 34 Votes)
- Jackson (8%, 11 Votes)
- Lohse (4%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 140
Who would you start in game four in St. Louis on Wednesday (if needed)?
- Garcia (45%, 61 Votes)
- Jackson (24%, 33 Votes)
- Lohse (21%, 29 Votes)
- Carpenter (10%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 136
What would you do with Westbrook in the first round?
- Leave him off the roster (51%, 69 Votes)
- Use him out of the bullpen (41%, 56 Votes)
- Consider starting him in game four or five (8%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 135