ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- If Wednesday’s game 3 of the NLCS is rained out, the Cardinals pitching plans will be adversely affected if the series should go the entire seven games.
Right now, with the scheduled day off for travel after game 5 in St. Louis, the Cardinals would be able to bring back Kyle Lohse on full rest for a seventh and deciding game.
But if Wednesday’s game is rained out - and the forecast looks awful - Lohse would either have to pitch game 7 on short rest, or the Cardinals would have to find a different starter.
Joe Kelly maybe? Shelby Miller? Probably not Miller. It’s doubtful Mike Matheny would trust a untested rookie to start a game 7. Kelly is a rookie himself, but at least he’s been with the team most of the year and has several important starts under his belt.
The guess here is that Matheny would come back with Lohse on just three days of rest, hoping to get five or six innings from him, and then turn the game over to the bullpen. It would make sense to trust an elimination game to your best pitcher even if he’s not at full rest.
The best case scenario would be for Lohse to have a smooth, low pitch count outing whenever game 3 is played so that he could come back as strong as possible when the Cardinals need him again. He’s been their ace all season, and the Cardinals likely can’t win this series unless Lohse pitches well.
The Cardinals starting pitching, that looked so solid a week ago, is suddenly looking a little suspect. Adam Wainwright was rocked in his last start against the Nationals in the NLDS. Chris Carpenter wasn’t very sharp in game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants. Lance Lynn hasn’t gotten thru the fourth inning in his last three starts. The Cardinals offense has been feast of famine all year. They better hope for more feast and less famine, or the Cards could be in trouble now that they’re starting staff is showing serious signs of wear and tear.