Notes: La Russa sticks with Weaver

Notes: La Russa sticks with Weaver

ST. LOUIS -- Tony La Russa wasn't tempted, not even a little bit. Monday night's rainout of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series presented the Cardinals manager with the chance to bring back ace Chris Carpenter on three days' rest, rather than waiting for Game 6.

La Russa had no thought of doing so, however.

"Oh, absolutely not," said La Russa. "Absolutely not."

He'll stay with Jeff Weaver for Game 5, with the righty now pitching on regular rest. Had the game taken place Monday, Weaver would have been on short rest. Weaver will now take his regular turn, with Carpenter set to start Game 6 and Jeff Suppan on normal rest in Game 7, if there is one.

"It's perfect," said the manager. "Jeff [Weaver] gets four days' rest, Chris gets four and Jeff [Suppan] gets four. It's our best shot."

The possibility of starting Game 5 was presented to Carpenter in his afternoon news conference, and he said it hadn't even been brought up to him.

"I don't think so," he said. "Nobody said anything to me."

However, Carpenter is likely to fly to New York on Tuesday ahead of his teammates, rather than taking a late-night flight after Game 5 ends.

Los dos Carlos: The Cardinals had seen enough of Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran before the '06 NLCS even started, thanks to Beltran's brilliance as a Houston Astro in the '04 NLCS. Now they've certainly seen enough of Carlos Delgado, as well. The slugging first baseman bats fourth, right behind Beltran. The 3-4 combo is probably the biggest reason the Mets lineup is so tough to pitch to.

"[Beltran] is a great player and a great hitter," Carpenter said. "He's a guy that you've got to move the ball around and really make pitches, and he doesn't miss mistakes. If you make a mistake, he's going to hit it.

"Carlos Delgado is the same way. I played with him in Toronto. These two guys are great. They do a great job of driving in runs, and especially in key situations. The two games that [the Mets] have won, they have hit some homers."

Carpenter suggested that the key to controlling the two dangerous hitters is to control the guys in front of them.

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"You're getting first and second and bases loaded, and you get those guys in those situations where you can't be as careful," he said. "You've got to be aggressive and make pitches, and all of a sudden you leave one over the middle of the plate and they do damage."

Lineup: Monday's scheduled lineup was the same one the Cards sent against Mets lefty Tom Glavine when they faced him in Game 1. Preston Wilson got the call in left field, batting second, with Juan Encarnacion in the cleanup spot. Scott Rolen was to bat fifth and Jim Edmonds sixth.

This date in Cardinals history: On Oct. 16, 1985, Jack Clark's three-run homer in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium sent the Cardinals to a 7-5 win over Los Angeles. The win gave the Cards a 4-2 series triumph in the NLCS and sent them to their second World Series in four years. Clark's shot, just like Ozzie Smith's two days earlier, came off Tom Nidenfuer.

Coming up: The two teams will try again on Tuesday, with Glavine and Weaver the scheduled starters at Busch Stadium. The first pitch is set for 7:19 p.m. CT, and the game will be carried on FOX.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.