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Game 6 of World Series is postponed

Reporting from St. Louis — Casey Stengel, who managed in more World Series than anyone else over the last century, once said, “There’s three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain.”

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball was left with the third scenario, and it postponed Game 6 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers more than 41/2 hours before the scheduled first pitch.

The series is scheduled to resume Thursday at 5 p.m. PDT with the Rangers leading the best-of-seven series, 3-2. St. Louis is expected to start left-hander Jaime Garcia against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis.

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The National Weather Service was predicting rain for most of Wednesday night — with clear skies the rest of the week, a forecast that weighed heavily on the decision to delay the game, according to Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

Little rain fell during the afternoon, but the slate-gray skies opened up less than 30 minutes before what would have been game time. Less than 90 minutes later, the rain had stopped and it appeared likely that a game could have been played.

The last World Series game to be postponed by rain was Game 5 in 2008. That game in Philadelphia was stopped in the sixth inning after rain and snow made the field unplayable. The Phillies won the title when the series resumed two days later, but the fact that a potential title-deciding game started in such inclement conditions undoubtedly influenced Wednesday’s early decision to call the game.

Neither manager was consulted by MLB, a slight that seemed to bother Texas Manager Ron Washington. His team is one win from its first World Series title.

“I want to play,” he said. “I wasn’t asked, but I want to play. I understand the situation and because I understand the situation … I changed my mind-set from playing a ballgame to getting work in and getting back to the hotel.”

If one team figures to benefit from the postponement, it is the Cardinals, who now have the option of using ace Chris Carpenter on Friday if they win Thursday and force a seventh game.

Kyle Lohse, who lasted three innings in his first World Series appearance, is the Cardinals’ scheduled Game 7 pitcher. But with the delay, Carpenter, who has held the Rangers to four runs in two starts and has not lost since August, could pitch on three days’ rest.

Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa stopped short of making that official, but reliever Octavio Dotel hinted that a decision has been made.

“I cannot tell you exactly, but I’ve been 12 years in baseball. I kind of figured it out and it makes me think that he’s probably going to be in Game 7,” he said of Carpenter.

The delay also gives Washington the chance to skip Matt Harrison, his scheduled Game 7 starter, and use left-hander Derek Holland on his normal four days’ rest.

Harrison hasn’t lasted past the fifth inning in three postseason starts. Holland came within two outs of a two-hit shutout against the Cardinals in Game 4.

However, Washington insisted he was sticking with his original plan.

“Harrison has been a big part of this team all year,” he said. “I am not changing the things that I’ve been doing all year. That’s why we are where we are and that’s why I’m staying with Harrison.”

Said Harrison: “That tells me he’s got a lot of confidence in me. Chances like this don’t come very often. Some guys never get this opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to it if it happens. If not, we’ll be celebrating tomorrow night. It’s a very exciting time.”

kevin.baxter@latimes.com


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