"If we were playing a right-handed club, then Looper and Thompson would be guys you'd look at more than your left-handed relievers."
Hancock and Looper each made their series debuts Saturday with 1 2/3 shutout innings in a 3-1 loss to the Padres. Thompson pitched two-thirds of an inning without yielding a run.
Looper said he has not thrown a bullpen since the postseason started. However, he had a full warmup on Thursday, which he said helped some.
"I got up and got ready that last day in San Diego," Looper said. "That's about it. That day I was ready to get in the game."
Carpenter to pitch next game: Regardless of Saturday's outcome, Chris Carpenter was scheduled to start the Cardinals' next contest. He would have been the starter for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, but will now pitch Game 4 of the Division Series.
"Different set of circumstances," La Russa said before the game, referring to when the Cards held Carpenter back from the season finale in order to start him in Game 1 of the Division Series. "He would pitch [Sunday]."
Remembering Buck: The Cardinals held a moment of silence in honor of Negro Leagues great Buck O'Neil, who passed away on Friday night at the age of 94. O'Neil in later years served as the chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, where he was one of baseball's great ambassadors.
"I knew him a little bit before, but since we went there and went over to the museum several times, [I got to know him better]," La Russa said. "He was a very special man. It's a big loss. He was amazing. Great recall, great experiences that he talked about."
Vina on the air: A very familiar face is helping out with pregame and postgame duties on FSN Midwest during the Division Series. Former Cards second baseman Fernando Vina, a two-time Gold Glover, is appearing on the broadcasts to offer analysis. Vina said he's hoping to begin a second career in broadcasting.
This date in Cardinals history: On Oct. 7, 1931, the Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 5-1, at Shibe Park to take command of the World Series, three games to two. Pepper Martin went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Bill Hallahan pitched a complete game.
Coming up: Game 4 will take place on Sunday at Busch Stadium. If both of the other Division Series wrap up on Saturday, then Game 4 of the Cardinals-Padres series would take place at 6:30 p.m. CT. If either of the other two series is still going, a fourth game would start at 12:09 p.m. CT.