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Cardinals-Mets: Rotation analysis

Cardinals-Mets: Rotation analysis

  St. Louis Cardinals

 Jeff Weaver RHP
GAME 1 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. He ended a string of ugly postseason experiences with a Game 2 victory in the NLDS over the Padres in San Diego. Weaver also came up big on the last Friday night of the regular season against Milwaukee when the Cards needed him the most.
Season numbers:(1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason; 5-4, 5.18 regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, slider
Speed: 85-95 mph

 Jeff Suppan RHP
GAME 2 STARTER: Suppan, who was a No. 4 starter in the postseason two years ago, has moved up in the postseason rotation. The reason? The season-ending shoulder injury to Mark Mulder, plus the losses of Woody Williams and Matt Morris to free agency since the end of the 2004 season. But Suppan has responded, even though he was the loser in Game 3 of the NLDS.
Season numbers: (0-1, 6.23 ERA postseason; 12-7, 4.12 ERA regular season)
Pitches: Fastball, cutter, slider, curve
Speed: 85-91 mph
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 Chris Carpenter RHP
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

 Anthony Reyes RHP
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

 Tom Glavine LHP
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

 John Maine RHP

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

 Steve Trachsel RHP
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

 Oliver Perez LHP
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

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.

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