© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/01/06 9:00 PM ET

Padres-Cardinals: Rotation analysis

  San Diego Padres
 Jake Peavy RHP
GAME 1 STARTER: Peavy is looking to avenge last year's shoddy start in the first game of the NLDS at St. Louis, when he allowed eight runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings and admitted afterward that he was pitching with a broken rib. It was not a good postseason debut, opening the way to a Cardinals sweep.
Season numbers: (11-14, 4.09 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, slider, curve
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 David Wells LHP
GAME 2 STARTER: If Wells can remain healthy, this is why the Padres picked him up just before the Sept. 1 deadline to set the 25-man playoff rosters: 10 postseasons of experience, an 8-8 record and 3.15 ERA in 26 appearances -- 16 starts. Even at 43, he can spot his pitches and give you five or six innings.
Season numbers: (1-2, 3.49 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: 78-90 mph

 Chris Young RHP
GAME 3 STARTER: Biggest surprise of the season, after last winter's trade that sent Adam Eaton to Texas for Young and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The 6-foot-10 right-hander has been dominating at times, coming close on two occasions to ending the no-hit jinx and pitching the first one in Padres history. But to no avail, as 38 years of misery attests.
Season numbers: (11-5, 3.46 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, curve, slider, changeup
Speed: 90-95 mph

 Woody Williams RHP
Williams was a big postseason factor in the Cardinals winning the 2004 NL pennant, although the Red Sox swept them in the World Series. He has rebounded from personal problems in 2005 and again is a big-game pitcher. But he wasn't last year in Game 3 of the NLDS, lasting 1 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
Season numbers: (12-5, 3.65 ERA)
Pitches: Cut fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Low 80s to low 90s

  St. Louis Cardinals

 Chris Carpenter RHP
GAME 1 STARTER: The Cy Young Award winner in the NL last year, Carpenter may win it again this year. But the right-hander looked like he was pitching on fumes late in the season when Houston made a belated run at the Cardinals in the NL Central. Really, manager Tony La Russa's hopes rest on Carpenter, who may need to pitch two solid games in this series for St. Louis to win.
Season numbers: (15-8, 3.09 ERA)
Pitches: Two- and four-seam fastballs, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 Jeff Weaver RHP
GAME 2 STARTER: The right-hander left the Dodgers as a free agent last year and was cast aside by the Angels this summer to make room for his brother, Jered. He was signed by the Cards to fill a starting slot and went 5-4 in 15 starts. He hasn't had any stellar postseason experiences, but Weaver won his biggest game of the season this past Friday night against Milwaukee when the Cards needed him the most.
Season numbers: (5-4, 5.18 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, slider
Speed: 85-95 mph

 Jeff Suppan RHP
GAME 3 STARTER: Everybody moves up a notch. Suppan, who was a No. 4 starter in the NLDS rotation two years ago and even got a start against San Diego last year, now must shoulder part of the burden. The reason? The injury to Mulder, plus the losses of Williams and Matt Morris to free agency since the end of the 2004 season. But Suppan responded, wrapping up the '04 Dodgers series, and is certainly capable.
Season numbers: (12-7, 4.12 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, cutter, slider, curve
Speed: 85-91 mph

 Jason Marquis RHP
Because of the loss of Mark Mulder to shoulder surgery, Marquis should get the nod because of his postseason experience. He's had nine postseason starts for Atlanta and St. Louis since 2001, but doesn't have a win to show for it. One of the best athletes on the team, period, Marquis sometimes loses focus and concentration, but if he keeps his mind in the game, he can be valuable.
Season numbers: (14-16, 6.02 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, cut fastball, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 Anthony Reyes RHP
It's doubtful that La Russa would double up both Carpenter and Marquis in this series, so if there's a Game 4, the rookie right-hander would obviously be the man. He may have earned his stripes on Sept. 27 against the Padres, pitching six strong innings in a game that snapped the Cards' seven-game losing streak. Reyes didn't get the win, but Albert Pujols did.
Season numbers: (5-8, 5.06 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 90-95 mph

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.