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10/03/05 12:50 AM ET

Cardinals-Padres: Pitching analysis

Two veteran staffs set to do battle in the NLDS

  St. Louis Cardinals

 Chris Carpenter RHP
Now, this is the Carpenter the Cardinals knew they were missing last October. The All-Star starter has put up Cy Young-caliber numbers, his late-season mini-slump excepted. Most important, he's had a full season of health, and the great results have followed. Hard stuff, soft stuff, it's all good.
Pitches: Two- and four-seam fastballs, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 Mark Mulder LHP
Mulder made the Cardinals' rotation a whole lot better with his arrival from Oakland, and he has delivered a 200-inning season that ranks right up with his solid seasons with the A's, though not quite with the very best ones. His health has been key as well, because he has missed a couple of Octobers with injuries in the past.
Pitches: Fastball, curve, slider, changeup
Speed: Low-80s to low-90s mph

 Matt Morris RHP
The career Cardinal might have been moving on but signed back with the club over the winter following shoulder surgery, hoping for another trip to the postseason. Morris helped them get there with a solid season that started strong and fizzled a little in the late summer, but he remains a real threat to put up a big start or two in the postseason.
Pitches: Fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Low-80s to low-90s mph

 Jason Marquis RHP
After a frustrating season of inconsistency, Marquis might get the nod over Jeff Suppan for the final Division Series rotation spot -- if the Cardinals even use a fourth starter. The best athlete among the pitchers -- and one of the best on the team, period -- Marquis sometimes gets in his own way, but if he keeps his energy focused, he can be valuable.
Pitches: Fastball, cut fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

  San Diego Padres

 Jake Peavy RHP
At age 24, Peavy has backed up his breakout 2004 season with an All-Star season in 2005 that elevated him to true ace status. The Padres already felt he was their unquestioned ace for the present and future, but he's definitely on the radar screen with the rest of baseball now. A fiery competitor with nasty stuff, he's primed for the big stage.
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, slider, curve
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 Pedro Astacio RHP
Picked up on a waiver claim after being released by Texas, Astacio was reborn as a top-notch starter down the stretch with the Padres. The veteran showed savvy and solid stuff in stringing together perhaps the most consistent group of outings of any Padres starter down the stretch. With that, he gained instant respect from management and his teammates.
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, slider, curve
Speed: Low 80s to low 90s mph

 Woody Williams RHP
The Padres brought Williams back to San Diego after his three-plus seasons in St. Louis in part because of the veteran presence he brings to the table, but also for his stuff. The latter hasn't been spectacular at any point this season, but the club still looks to him as a guy who will do whatever it takes to put together a solid start.
Pitches: Cut fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Low 80s to low 90s

 Adam Eaton RHP
Heading toward the All-Star break, Eaton was in a great groove, winning games and earning some mention as a possible invitee to the Midsummer Classic. But an injury to a tendon in his right middle finger knocked him off his game, and right out of action for about six weeks. He hasn't quite found that edge since returning, but he remains a threat for a gem.
Pitches: Fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.