ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will utilize a four-man rotation in this best-of-five National League Division Series against Washington, which begins Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.
Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia draw the starting assignments in the first two games, both of which will be played at home. Chris Carpenter, who made only three regular season starts, is in line to start Game 3. Wild Card starter Kyle Lohse would take the mound if a Game 4 is necessary, and Wainwright would make a second start if the series extends to a fifth game.
General manager John Mozeliak said the decision to start Garcia in Game 2 had "very little" to do with the left-hander's drastic home-and-road splits, though it wasn't a factor entirely ignored.
Garcia finished the season with four straight strong starts, two of which came on the road. Garcia's overall season and career numbers, however, suggest that he is a different pitcher when on the Busch Stadium mound. This year, Garcia posted a 5.02 ERA in 11 road starts and a 2.82 one in nine home outings.
"He's been very good lately, so we are just excited to get him on the mound," manager Mike Matheny said. "He does like throwing at home. I don't know any of our guys that don't like throwing here, but it just worked out well."
Lohse, who earned the win in Friday's Wild Card game, would have been available to pitch Game 3 on a normal four days of rest. Instead, the Cardinals chose to insert Carpenter into that spot. Though Carpenter's regular season was abbreviated due to thoracic outlet syndrome and subsequent surgery, his nine postseason wins remains tops in franchise history.
"Clearly, the way Carp finished the season, we feel confident that he can also give us a quality start," Mozeliak said.
Cards add starting pitchers to roster for NLDS
ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals will officially turn in their 25-man National League Division Series roster on Sunday, general manager John Mozeliak revealed the three upcoming changes during the team's Saturday workout at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals did not carry starters Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Chris Carpenter on their one-game Wild Card roster because of the length of the series. In order to add the trio, reliever Sam Freeman, catcher Bryan Anderson and infielder Ryan Jackson will be kept off this second postseason series roster.
None of the three appeared in the Wild Card game.
Neither Jackson nor Anderson earned much playing time as September callups, so their exclusions come as no surprise. Both will continue to work out with the club in case injury forces either to be added at a later date.
The Cardinals did discuss keeping Freeman in the bullpen as the team's second lefty but ultimately felt their right-handed pitchers were adept enough against left-handed hitters. Freeman will leave the team and report to the Arizona Fall League. He can stay sharp by pitching there and would still be eligible for the postseason roster at a later date.
With those three players off, the composition of the Cardinals' NLDS roster will look as such:
Starting pitchers (4): Wainwright, Garcia, Carpenter, Kyle Lohse
Relievers (8): Jason Motte, Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs, Marc Rzepczynski, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, Fernando Salas
Catchers (2): Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz
Infielders (6): Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso, Skip Schumaker, Pete Kozma, David Freese, Matt Carpenter
Outfielders (5): Carlos Beltran, Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Shane Robinson, Adron Chambers
Cards ready to move on from infield-fly ruling
ST. LOUIS -- The infield-fly call heard around the baseball world on Friday night remained a topic of conversation at Busch Stadium on Saturday -- but not a dominant one. While the ruling by left-field umpire Sam Holbrook likely will linger in Atlanta for much longer, the Cardinals were more concerned with what's next -- a best-of-five Division Series against the Nationals -- than one part of a multi-faceted Wild Card game against the Braves.
"I can certainly see why people would have been frustrated," general manager John Mozeliak said, speaking, of course, for fans rooting for the opposition. "Had the ball been caught, it would have been completely a non-issue. But the ball wasn't, and that opened the flood gates to that level of frustration. I do feel like it was the right call, but I understand why perception of it was wrong."
Mozeliak watched Friday's Wild Card game from the stands and said he "got a little spray" on him as fans were throwing beer bottles, cups and other items onto the field following the eighth-inning ruling. The onslaught of debris led to a 19-minute delay. Mozeliak and other Cardinals officials waited out the delay in their seats.
"I didn't feel like we were in danger."
On Saturday, Mozeliak also recounted one amusing exchange he had with a Braves fan during the pause in play.
"A young man came up to me and said, 'So tell me really what you think about that call,'" Mozeliak said. "Give me a moment to think about that."
Jake Westbrook (right oblique injury) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. It will be Westbrook's first time back on the mound since shutting down in late September due to continued oblique discomfort. Westbrook has been throwing on flat ground for the last several days.
He said on Saturday that his oblique has given him no issue recently, and he remains optimistic that he can get himself healthy enough to contribute out of the bullpen if the Cardinals advance deeper into the postseason.
The gates at Busch Stadium will open at noon CT for Game 1 on Sunday; the pregame ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. CT. The first 42,000 fans to enter the gates will receive a rally towel. The national anthem will be performed by the 399th Army Band out of Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.