ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter downplayed any concern about his health on Tuesday, insisting that not only will he be ready to go on Wednesday for Game 1 of the World Series, but that he would have been fine for a potential Monday night start in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
Carpenter acknowledged that he had experienced some soreness in his right elbow -- the triceps muscle, a club source said Monday -- following his Game 3 start in the NLCS and that he had received treatment. But he said firmly that he will be fully ready to pitch against Texas at Busch Stadium on Wednesday.
"Coming out of that start in Milwaukee, I've got 200-something innings, 4,000 pitches or whatever and it's the middle of October," he said. "Everybody's got soreness and everybody's got aches. I got some treatment on my elbow. My elbow is fine. Tony [La Russa, manager] and Dunc [pitching coach Dave Duncan] would not throw me out there if it wasn't, and neither would the trainers or doctors.
"I would have been fine to pitch two days ago, or yesterday, whatever day Game 7 would have been, and I'm fine to go Wednesday. I wouldn't go out there if I wasn't. It wouldn't help my team in any way."
Asked a followup question later as to how he prioritized team needs versus his own well being at this time of year, Carpenter repeated his stance.
"I've worked too hard to put myself in any situation or any risk where I'm going to do any damage to myself," he said. "I've gotten to the point where, if I shouldn't go out there, I'm not going to go out there. It's too important to me, it's too important to my team. So I'm fine. OK? I promise. I'm fine."