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Notes: Relievers looking for work

Notes: Relievers looking for work

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are carrying an 11-man pitching staff in their National League Division Series against San Diego, but work has been hard to come by for right-handed bullpenners, due to the heavily left-handed Padres lineup.

Braden Looper, Brad Thompson and Josh Hancock, as well as regular-season starter Jason Marquis, all were awaiting their first appearance in the 2006 postseason before Saturday's game. Looper and Thompson hadn't pitched since Oct. 1, Hancock and Marquis since Sept. 28.

"That's only partially true," manager Tony La Russa said when asked about his relievers' lack of work. "They're getting a lot of work. The relievers that have [pitched], they didn't have a big load coming into their effective performances. They get a lot of work either throwing in the outfield or they'll take a special session throwing in the 'pen.

"If we were playing a right-handed club, then Looper and Thompson would be guys you'd look at more than your left-handed relievers."

Hancock and Looper each made their series debuts Saturday with 1 2/3 shutout innings in a 3-1 loss to the Padres. Thompson pitched two-thirds of an inning without yielding a run.

Looper said he has not thrown a bullpen since the postseason started. However, he had a full warmup on Thursday, which he said helped some.

"I got up and got ready that last day in San Diego," Looper said. "That's about it. That day I was ready to get in the game."

Carpenter to pitch next game: Regardless of Saturday's outcome, Chris Carpenter was scheduled to start the Cardinals' next contest. He would have been the starter for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, but will now pitch Game 4 of the Division Series.

"Different set of circumstances," La Russa said before the game, referring to when the Cards held Carpenter back from the season finale in order to start him in Game 1 of the Division Series. "He would pitch [Sunday]."

Remembering Buck: The Cardinals held a moment of silence in honor of Negro Leagues great Buck O'Neil, who passed away on Friday night at the age of 94. O'Neil in later years served as the chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, where he was one of baseball's great ambassadors.

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"I knew him a little bit before, but since we went there and went over to the museum several times, [I got to know him better]," La Russa said. "He was a very special man. It's a big loss. He was amazing. Great recall, great experiences that he talked about."

Vina on the air: A very familiar face is helping out with pregame and postgame duties on FSN Midwest during the Division Series. Former Cards second baseman Fernando Vina, a two-time Gold Glover, is appearing on the broadcasts to offer analysis. Vina said he's hoping to begin a second career in broadcasting.

This date in Cardinals history: On Oct. 7, 1931, the Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 5-1, at Shibe Park to take command of the World Series, three games to two. Pepper Martin went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Bill Hallahan pitched a complete game.

Coming up: Game 4 will take place on Sunday at Busch Stadium. If both of the other Division Series wrap up on Saturday, then Game 4 of the Cardinals-Padres series would take place at 6:30 p.m. CT. If either of the other two series is still going, a fourth game would start at 12:09 p.m. CT.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["division_series" ] }
{"content":["division_series" ] }