PREGAME: The series shifts to St. Louis and the new Busch stadium. Busch has played as slightly more of a pitchers park than Comerica Park has. The pitching match-up will be Nate Robertson against Chris Carpenter.
The Tigers faced Carpenter once this year and jumped on him for 9 hits, 6 for extra bases, and scored 7 runs over 7 innings. It was an interesting line for Carpenter in that he also fanned 9 Tigers hitters and walked none.
In terms of individual match-ups, most of the Tigers have decent career numbers against Carpenter. Pudge Rodriguez has a 970 OPS over 26 at-bats against Carpenter. Given that Pudge is 0-fer a long time, this help get him on track.
Carpenter has been much better at home this year with a 1.82 ERA and only 7 homers allowed over 124 innings. He is brutal on right handers with a 571 OPS against. Left handers do substantially better, but still not good, with a 727 OPS but that’s kind of what makes Carpenter the staff ace.
Nate Robertson has limited experience against the Cardinals lineup. Ronnie Belliard has a pretty good track record and is 8 for 25. Preston Wilson though has 5 at-bats, and 5 hits off of Robertson. And with Wilson slotted right in front of Albert Pujols, there’s not pitching around him.
LF – Monroe
2B – Polanco
RF – Ordonez
SS – Guillen
C – Rodriguez
3B – Inge
Carlos Guillen’s efforts are largely going to waste with Rodriguez failing to generate any offense. If he doesn’t do something this game, against a pitcher he’s had success against, he’s got to be moved down in the order.
St. Louis Lineup
LF – Wilson
RF – Taguchi
P – Carpenter
I give credit to La Russa for sandwiching Pujols with the 2 hitters who have had a solid track record against Robertson.
Game Time 8:30ish, or about 10 minutes after you think you can’t possibly take any more Zelasko.