GAME 3 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. He came up big in the NLDS, making two starts, and he will probably have to do it again if the best-of-seven NLCS goes the distance.
Season numbers: (2-0, 2.03 ERA postseason; 15-8, 3.09 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Two- and four-seam fastballs, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph
This rookie right-hander appears to be La Russa's choice to start Game 4. Reyes wasn't on the roster for the NLDS and lasted only two-thirds of an inning the final day of the regular season, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to the pressure of the postseason.
Season numbers: (Has not pitched this postseason; 5-8, 5.06 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 90-95 mph
New York Mets
GAME 1 STARTER
: Until his big Game 2 NLDS victory, Glavine had won only three times since late June. Considering the arm issues that interrupted his season in late August, the Mets are just glad to again be able to count on him being healthy. He has more postseason experience than anyone else in this series: 33 starts, 12 wins as a Brave.
Season numbers: (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason; 15-7, 3.82 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, curve
Speed: 74 to 88 mph
GAME 2 STARTER
: Originally figured to be a fourth starter, Maine was put in an emergency Game 1 starting role in the NLDS when Hernandez injured his right calf. Maine could be a valuable NLCS option with another torrid stretch in him. In three straight starts coming out of the All-Star break, he put up 22 straight zeroes while allowing only 10 hits -- the kind of groove that could continue to be critical this postseason.
Season numbers: (0-0, 2.08 ERA postseason; 6-5, 3.60 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, curve, slider
Speed: 76 to 92 mph
GAME 3 STARTER
: A walking contradiction. Trachsel has been the rotation rock, making 30 starts and winning half of them -- but with an ERA a run higher than any previous Mets 15-game winner (Al Leiter's 3.99 in 2003). Guys like Trachsel are most appreciated across the long haul, but with the injuries to Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez, he's sure to get another postseason start.
Season numbers: (0-0, 5.40 ERA postseason; 15-8, 4.97 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, splitter, curve, changeup
Speed: 75 to 91 mph
GAME 4 STARTER
: Because of the injury to El Duque, Perez is expected to get his first postseason start in Game 4. Perez was at Triple-A with the Pirates on July 30, but when Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez was injured in a taxi accident, general manager Omar Minaya had to flip the switch, sending Xavier Nady to Pittsburgh in the deal that also brought them Roberto Hernandez. The Mets didn't need Perez to start Game 4 of the NLDS, but he's almost certain to get the call against the Cards. This is how great postseason stories are made.
Season numbers: (Has not pitched this postseason; 3-11, 6.55 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup, curve
Speed: 85-90 mph