Following their epic extra innings victory in Game 6 on Thursday night, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced that ace Chris Carpenter would start Game 7 of the World Series against the Rangers tonight.
It was a move that has been anticipated since David Freese hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Cardinals a 10-9 win on Thursday night. Carpenter last pitched on Monday and has worked on short rest before in this postseason. While technically it’s Kyle Lohse’s turn in club’s postseason rotation and Edwin Jackson would be working on a normal rest period, La Russa has to turn to his workhouse in this situation.
In related news, both Matt Holliday (finger) and Nelson Cruz (groin) are expected to play in Game 7. Holliday suffered what Joe Buck called during the broadcast a “severely bruised little finger” when he dove back into third base during a pickoff attempt Thursday night. He jammed his hand into third baseman Adrian Beltre’s foot and was subsequently called out on the play. Holliday didn’t return to the game, leaving some to speculate whether or not he would play in Game 7.
Cruz strained a groin muscle on his final at-bat in Game 6 and was shown limping down the clubhouse steps. But as long as he can still walk, one would expect him to be in the lineup. This is Game 7 of the World Series, after all.