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10/25/06 5:59 PM ET
Weaver or Reyes could start Game 5
La Russa keeping his options open, will wait to make decision
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- There was much in doubt on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium as both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers waited out the weather to see if Game 4 would go on as scheduled.
But Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan were also unsure of who would be their starter in Game 5 on Thursday.
It is clear that La Russa, at least at the beginning of the Series, was planning on using his three best starters -- Jeff Weaver, Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan -- on three days rest in Games 5, 6 and 7. But that plan suddenly changed when Anthony Reyes pitched so brilliantly in Game 1 in Detroit.
So La Russa is undecided if it will be Weaver or Reyes in Game 5.
"Well, what Dave and I talked about was keeping our options open, and that includes getting through Game 4," La Russa said on Wednesday afternoon. "That's just consistent with [the fact that] we don't want to decide [just yet since] we don't know what the outcome of Game 4 will be, [and we] don't know when Game 4 is going to be played. And just the reality is, one of those two guys are going to start the fifth game. I don't know which it's going to be, so they're both getting ready."
Reyes allowed two runs on four hits over eight innings in a 7-2 victory in Game 1, which would seem to make him deserving of another start. But he was content to wait word on what La Russa wanted to go.
"It's all strategies, and it's what's best for the team," Reyes said. "It's one of those things where we're just trying to get the most out of our pitchers, and whoever Tony feels is best capable of pitching against these guys that's what we're going to do. "
Pitching Weaver, Carpenter and Suppan on three days rest is a significant issue for the Cardinals, because none are used to doing it.
"I think there's a difference [going] with a different guy," La Russa said. "If you go Reyes, I think you can expect Weaver to pitch Game 6, and you'd hold Carpenter back for 7. That's part of it. If you pitch Weaver, it could be that Reyes pitches Game 6 or he could pitch in the bullpen."
Carpenter has never pitched on three days rest in his Major League career and Suppan has only done it once. Weaver has done it twice.
"Another day of rest always helps, but I feel good right now, physically I've done my preparation for a short rest to start and everything feels good," Weaver said. "So either way, I feel like it's not going to matter."