Cardinals-Tigers: Rotation analysis

Cardinals-Tigers: Rotation analysis

  St. Louis Cardinals

 Anthony Reyes RHP
GAME 1 STARTER: Reyes wasn't on the roster for the NLDS and went four innings in his NLCS start, giving up two earned runs on three hits and four walks in four innings. Reyes has excellent stuff, but at times he finds too much of the plate with his fastball, and when that happens, he is vulnerable to the long ball (two home runs in his NLCS start and 17 in 85 1/3 innings during the regular season). He has never faced Detroit.
Season numbers: 0-0, 4.50 ERA postseason; 5-8, 5.06 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: 90-95 mph

 Jeff Weaver RHP
GAME 2 STARTER: A former Tiger who left Detroit in 2002 in the Jeremy Bonderman deal (although at the time it was referred to as the Jeff Weaver deal), Weaver signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in 2004 and was cast aside by the Angels this summer to make room for his brother, Jered. He was acquired by the Cards to fill a starting slot. He ended a string of ugly postseason experiences with a Game 2 victory in the National League Division Series over the Padres at San Diego. He pitched well in his first League Championship Series start, though he took the loss after giving up two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Weaver is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two career starts vs. Detroit and is 14-23 with a 4.05 ERA in 43 career games (300 innings) at Comerica Park.
Season numbers: 2-1, 2.16 ERA postseason; 8-14, 5.76 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, slider
Speed: 85 to 95 mph

 Chris Carpenter RHP
GAME 3 STARTER: The Cy Young Award winner in the NL last year, Carpenter may win it again this year. He came up big in the NLDS, making two starts, but he was hit hard in his first NLCS start as the Mets raked him for five earned runs on six hits and four walks in five innings. Carpenter was beaten by Justin Verlander and the Tigers at Comerica Park on June 25. Prior to that outing, Carpenter had been 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts at Comerica Park and was 3-3 with a 6.75 career ERA against Detroit over 10 games.
Season numbers: 2-1, 3.70 ERA postseason; 15-8, 3.09 ERA regular season
Pitches: Two- and four-seam fastballs, curve, changeup
Speed: Mid-80s to mid-90s mph

 Jeff Suppan RHP
GAME 4 STARTER: Suppan had the best postseason outing of his career in the NLCS, firing eight shutout innings and allowing just three hits in a Game 3 win over the Mets before tossing seven innings of two-hit ball in the decisive Game 7. The NLCS MVP was the No. 4 starter in the postseason two years ago but has moved up in the rotation due to the season-ending shoulder injury to Mark Mulder. Suppan is 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA in seven career starts at Comerica Park and is 8-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 19 career starts against Detroit.
Season numbers: 1-1, 2.19 ERA postseason; 12-7, 4.12 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, cutter, slider, curve
Speed: 85 to 91 mph

  Detroit Tigers

 Justin Verlander RHP
GAME 1 STARTER: The No. 2 pick of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Verlander has emerged as one of the best young power pitchers in the game and hasn't done anything to hurt his growing reputation thus far in the postseason. His fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph and he gets it to the plate following an abbreviated delivery. Verlander has an above-average curveball and a decent changeup. When all three pitches are working, Verlander is practically unhittable. He can get into trouble when he leaves his pitches up in the zone. He is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in one career start against St. Louis.
Season numbers: 1-0, 5.91 ERA postseason; 17-9, 3.63 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, curve, changeup, slider
Speed: Low-90s to high-90s mph

 Kenny Rogers LHP
GAME 2 STARTER: The pitching hero of the postseason, Rogers has yet to allow a run in two October starts vs. the Yankees and A's. He has good movement on his fastball and knows how to spot it well. He doesn't use the slider as often these days, but it hasn't hurt his performance as his curveball and slider are both fine complements to his fastball. Defensively, Rogers remains one of the best in either league. Rogers was hit hard by the Cardinals in a start this year, as the lefty was racked for five earned runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. For his career, Rogers has no record against St. Louis in two games and has given up nine earned runs on 14 hits in 8 1/3 innings, a 9.72 ERA.
Season numbers: 2-0, 0.00 ERA postseason; 17-8, 3.84 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, curveball, changeup, slider
Speed: Low-80s to low-90s mph

 Nate Robertson LHP
GAME 3 STARTER: Robertson pitched five scoreless innings in the American League Championship Series opener at Oakland and outpitched A's ace Barry Zito to send the Tigers on their way. Robertson, who worked six innings or more in 18 of his last 19 regular-season starts, can be especially tough when his slider is working. He hasn't faced St. Louis.
Season numbers: 1-1, 5.91 ERA postseason; 13-13, 3.84 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, slider, changeup
Speed: Low-90s to mid-90s mph

 Jeremy Bonderman RHP
GAME 4 STARTER: Bonderman started the final game of the ALCS and limited Oakland to three runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, though only one run came after the first inning. He has excellent stuff, but like a lot of young pitchers, he struggles with command at times and is still learning how to pitch to Major League hitters. Bonderman relies on a mid- to high-90s fastball complemented by a sharp breaking slider, but his splitter is coming on as another out pitch. Bonderman has never faced St. Louis.
Season numbers: 1-0, 3.00 ERA postseason; 14-8, 4.08 ERA regular season
Pitches: Fastball, slider, splitter, changeup
Speed: Mid-90s to high-90s mph

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