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St. Louis' Chris Carpenter has Dodgers' number

The right-hander who will start Game 1 of the division series is 5-0 with a 2.20 earned-run average in his career against the Dodgers.

October 07, 2009|Ben Bolch

The Dodgers should be grateful Chris Carpenter doesn't pitch in the National League West.

The right-hander who will start Game 1 of the division series for St. Louis is 5-0 with a 2.20 earned-run average in his career against the Dodgers. He was particularly stingy against them this season, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts.

"It's about being prepared and having a game plan and going out there and executing," Carpenter said. "I've been able to do that both times against those guys."

Carpenter has had success against the Dodgers' top hitters throughout his career, holding Andre Ethier to a .182 batting average, Manny Ramirez to a .267 average and Matt Kemp to a .287 average. The trio has hit only two homers in 48 combined at-bats against Carpenter, who has limited current Dodgers players to a .212 average in his career.

Return of Troy

The last player to win a World Series most-valuable-player award with a Southland team is back in the playoffs after a five-year absence.

Not that Troy Glaus figures prominently in St. Louis' postseason plans. Glaus played in only 14 games after sitting out most of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery and figures to be used primarily as a bat off the bench.

"I'll show up ready to go and see what happens," said Glaus, who helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series. "If I'm in the lineup, great, if not then I'll do my best to come up with a pinch-hit late."

Another shot

The last time Brendan Ryan appeared in a playoff game at Dodger Stadium, he stepped to the plate with runners on first and third in the final inning . . . and struck out.

The setback still pains the St. Louis shortstop nine years after his Sherman Oaks Notre Dame team lost, 5-4, to San Luis Obispo in a Southern Section Division IV final.

"That was a case where I got caught up in the moment," said Ryan, who made countless trips to Dodger Stadium as a fan while growing up in Los Angeles. "I wanted to be the hero and put way too much pressure on myself and didn't focus on what the guy was trying to do to get me out."

Short hops

Even though the Dodgers are starting left-handed pitchers Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw in the first two games of the series, St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa said he would not use an exclusively right-handed batting order. The Cardinals' center fielder will be either Skip Schumaker or Rick Ankiel or Colby Rasmus, and each bats left-handed. . . . La Russa said Joel Pineiro would start Game 3 and either John Smoltz or Kyle Lohse would start Game 4. Smoltz has a record 15 postseason victories.


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