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NLCS Game 1 postponed until Thursday

Game 1 of NLCS postponed until Thursday

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NEW YORK -- Persistent rains forced postponement of Wednesday night's opener of the National League Championship Series between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, it was announced by Major League Baseball.

The decision was not related to the death of Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle on Wednesday afternoon in a plane crash on the East Side of Manhattan, Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations, said.

The NLCS now will start Thursday at Shea Stadium at 8:19 p.m. ET, with the second game of the best-of-seven series to be played Friday -- originally a travel day -- at a time to be determined.

Tickets for Wednesday's game will be good for Friday's game. Those fans who hold tickets that say Game 2 will still be able to use them on Thursday.

Games 3 and 4 remain set for St. Louis on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Game 5, if necessary, will be held Monday night at Busch Stadium, with Games 6 and 7, if necessary, at Shea Stadium on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

As scheduled, Tom Glavine will pitch the opener for the Mets against Cards right-hander Jeff Weaver. Game 2 will match the Mets' John Maine against St. Louis' Jeff Suppan.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa held the door slightly ajar about the possibility of moving up his ace, Chris Carpenter, to start Game 2 rather than Game 3, as previously planned. La Russa said it was not something he planned to do, but didn't rule it out entirely.

Carpenter, who beat the Padres on Sunday night in Game 4 of the NLDS to get the Cards into the NLCS, would be working on his normal rest on Friday.

"I take the ball when it's given to me," Carpenter said. "It's not my decision to make."

Carpenter mentioned the sorrow being felt in both clubhouses with the death of Lidle, who pitched for seven Major League clubs and had a lot of friends throughout the game.

"Everybody's sitting here thinking about what's going on outside the game and not what we have to do," Carpenter said. "Maybe it's a little advantage for both teams.

"Everything happens for a reason. Maybe that's why we have the rain tonight."

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Mets infielder Chris Woodward has known of Lidle since his days growing up in Southern California and was his teammate in Toronto in 2003.

"Maybe that's God's way of saying we shouldn't be playing today," Woodward said. "I'm glad we're not playing today. It's hard to focus. It's kind of like a family member passed away.

"I knew [Lidle]. We grew up in the same area. He was kind of a legend there. Not a lot of guys get to the big leagues. A lot of people look up to him. I hope his family is OK. My prayers are with them."

Lidle and Woodward attended rival high schools in Covina, Calif., but Lidle, at South Hills High School, was four years ahead of Woodward at North View High School, Woodward recalled.

Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds, who also grew up near Lidle and became acquainted with the pitcher through a mutual friend, shared Woodward's opinion about the postponement.

"Cory is obviously on everybody's mind," said Edmonds, who heard about the tragedy on the team bus to Shea Stadium from a teammate in a cell phone conversation. "It hits home as far as keeping your family close to you.

"It's kind of shocking. You think it's a random plane ... then you find out it's somebody you've known for 10 years. It's hard to imagine that happens."

Both managers, La Russa and the Mets' Willie Randolph, anticipated having stars questionable with injuries in the starting lineup.

Third baseman Scott Rolen, who was forced out of Game 4 of the NLDS with an injured left shoulder, was in the Cards' lineup batting fifth against Glavine.

Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd, bothered by a left Achilles injury, was in Randolph's lineup batting sixth against Weaver.

The Mets took the season series from the Cards, four games to two.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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