Carpenter Goes on Regular Rest

Times Staff Writer

Given a night to think it over, St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa will have ace Chris Carpenter start tonight’s Game 2 after all. He will oppose New York Mets right-hander John Maine.

Wednesday’s rainout meant Carpenter, who started the Cardinals’ division-series clincher Sunday, could pitch tonight on his regular four days’ rest.

La Russa initially appeared resistant, even if it meant Carpenter would be available again for a Game 6.


“I don’t think there’s a benefit to changing,” he had said.

By Thursday, however, Jeff Suppan had been pushed back to Game 3. He’ll be followed by rookie and USC product Anthony Reyes.

Two statistics might have given La Russa pause:

Carpenter’s earned-run average at home is 1.81. On the road it is 4.70.

Also, he was far better on five days’ rest (0.97 ERA) than four (3.64).

Ultimately, La Russa said, the decision was broken into its simplest terms.

“It’s his fifth day,” he said. “That’s when he’s geared to pitch all year long. He should pitch.”


The ailing left Achilles’ tendon of Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd lasted less than one at-bat into the series.

The source of hours of evaluation and debate, Floyd was included on the National League Championship Series roster and was in the starting lineup Thursday night, despite aggravating the injury in Game 3 of the division series.

Then, on a foul fly ball to left field, Floyd pulled up going around first base and massaged the area before returning to the batters’ box. He then flied to left to end the at-bat, but hadn’t reached first when the ball was caught.

Endy Chavez replaced him in left field. The club announced Floyd left the game with an “irritated” Achilles’ tendon.

Floyd will be examined by a physician today, and in the meantime is listed as day to day.

“I’ve come too far to shut it down,” he said. “Tomorrow, when I get here, I’ll be able to tell you all more. It’s just an unfortunate situation.”


The Mets’ Pedro Martinez, who had shoulder surgery last week, stood with his teammates along the first-base line during pregame introductions. He wore a sling.... Darryl Strawberry threw out the ceremonial first pitch. A moment of silence was observed for Buck O’Neil and Cory Lidle.... New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, who has become friendly with La Russa over the past year, stood behind the batting cage while the Cardinals took batting practice.... Jim Fregosi, who interviewed with the Dodgers last winter, remains interested in resuming his managerial career. His agent, Alan Meersand, has contacted the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants on his behalf. Fregosi is a special assistant to Atlanta Braves General Manager John Schuerholz.