Notes: Marquis roots from sidelines
Carpenter to start Game 2; Cards' roster stays the same
NEW YORK -- Jason Marquis acknowledged he felt "blindsided" and disappointed by the Cardinals' decision to leave him off their roster for the National League Championship Series, but he vowed to support his teammates and stay ready in case he's called upon for the World Series.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed with Tony [La Russa's] decision," Marquis said on Thursday night after the Cards dropped Game 1 of the NLCS. "But it's something I've got to live by.
"I feel like with the last three years, what I've given to the organization, my heart and soul, taking the ball every five days, and knowing my own ability, I know I can help this team win. With that being said, I'm here for my teammates. I support them, and whatever they need from me, I'm here for them."
Marquis was on the roster for the Division Series as a reliever, but he did not pitch. With St. Louis going to a four-man rotation in the NLCS, rookie Anthony Reyes was added and Marquis was scratched.
"[I felt] a little blindsided," he said. "But what are you going to do? I'm going to stay prepared -- play catch, maybe throw some bullpens in between. In case of an injury or if they have a change of plans for the series, my arm will be in shape and my body will be in shape to help this team win the World Series, if needed."
Marquis said the decision has not led him to do any re-thinking of how he might proceed this offseason. The right-hander is eligible for free agency this winter.
"I leave that up to my agents, to do that work," he said. "The minute my contract ends as a St. Louis Cardinal, that's when I'll prepare for the offseason. But other than that, I'm really not thinking about it much."
Similarly, he chose not to read anything about the club's long-term intentions into a short-term baseball decision.
"Not at all," he said. "I've had an inconsistent year. I know I could have been better, without a doubt. I also think I know what I'm capable of doing and the Cardinals know what I'm capable of doing.
"So with that being said, in the offseason I know I have a decision to make and they have decisions to make. If I'm part of it, I'm part of it. If not, I move on and take my abilities elsewhere."
Carpenter to start Game 2: After making complex deliberations and pondering a slew of scenarios, it occurred to La Russa: The decision facing him was a simple one, not a complicated one.
The question: When should Chris Carpenter pitch? The answer: As soon as he can without disrupting his preparations. That means Friday, so Carpenter will go in Game 2 of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.
"It's his fifth day," La Russa said. "That's when he's geared to pitch all year long. He should pitch."
Carpenter was originally slated to pitch Game 3 in St. Louis on Saturday. His last game was the previous Sunday in the clincher of St. Louis' Division Series against San Diego, so the right-hander would have been pitching on five days of rest following an off-day.
However, a rainout on Wednesday pushed Games 1 and 2 back by a day, allowing Carpenter to pitch in Game 2 while still having his normal four days of rest. Jeff Suppan, first scheduled to start Game 2, will instead pitch Game 3 in St. Louis on Saturday.
"The biggest factor was you catch what could be a break with the rainout and it's his day," said La Russa. "It's his day, so it makes sense to play that edge."
The switch means Carpenter would get the ball in a potential Game 6 in New York, and Suppan would be the starter for St. Louis should the series go to a seventh game.
The switch shouldn't have too much effect on Carpenter's between-starts preparations. He said that at this point in the season, he does not throw bullpen sessions between starts, so the timing is not a major issue.
In 32 regular-season starts in 2006, Carpenter went 15-8 with a 3.09 ERA -- second best in the NL -- and he also picked up two wins in two starts in the Cardinals' Division Series win over San Diego. Carpenter has made five postseason starts in his career, going 4-0. The Cardinals have won all five of those games.
Evening game: Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Friday's Game 2 will be a night game, with Game 3 of the AL Championship Series moving up to the afternoon in Detroit. The switch could complicate travel, as both teams are likely to arrive in St. Louis in the wee hours on Saturday morning.
Still, if La Russa had any frustration over the decision, he wasn't showing it.
"They pay a lot of money," he said of MLB's television partners. "The guys who take that money are happy to collect it. So no complaints."
Static rosters: The Mets put in a call to MLB as to whether they would be permitted to alter their series roster in light of Wednesday's rainout, but the league declined. The Cards, however, had little desire to switch things up -- even given that Games 1-5 will be played on five straight days, and that St. Louis has only four starting pitchers on its active roster.
"If [you knew] you were going to play five in a row, would you set up your roster different? I'd say probably not," La Russa said. "Because as much as you're looking at [adding] a starting pitcher, if you play five in a row, you're going to need relievers. The bullpen is going to be involved five straight days.
"So the alternative would be to come in there with 12 pitchers and 13 players, and that's something you do during the season to protect your pitching. That's a tough way to play. So my guess is we wouldn't change anything."
No thanks: Three prominent Cardinals chose not to participate in pregame introductions at Shea. Pitchers Mark Mulder, Jason Isringhausen and Marquis passed on the intros. Mulder and Isringhausen are injured, while Marquis was left off the NLCS roster in favor of Reyes. Three Cards players who are not on the roster were introduced: Jose Vizcaino, Jorge Sosa and Skip Schumaker.
This date in Cardinals history: On Oct. 12, 1967, Bob Gibson pitched the Cardinals to a World Series Game 7 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, striking out 10 in a 7-2 Cards victory. It was Gibson's third complete-game win in nine days -- he went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in the '67 Fall Classic.
Coming up: Game 2 is set for Friday night at Shea Stadium. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. CT, with Carpenter facing rookie John Maine.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.