Garcia, Carp to follow Wainwright in rotation

Garcia, Carp to follow Wainwright in rotation

Garcia, Carp to follow Wainwright in rotation
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will utilize a four-man rotation in this best-of-five National League Division Series against Washington, which begins Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.

Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia draw the starting assignments in the first two games, both of which will be played at home. Chris Carpenter, who made only three regular season starts, is in line to start Game 3. Wild Card starter Kyle Lohse would take the mound if a Game 4 is necessary, and Wainwright would make a second start if the series extends to a fifth game.

General manager John Mozeliak said the decision to start Garcia in Game 2 had "very little" to do with the left-hander's drastic home-and-road splits, though it wasn't a factor entirely ignored.

Garcia finished the season with four straight strong starts, two of which came on the road. Garcia's overall season and career numbers, however, suggest that he is a different pitcher when on the Busch Stadium mound. This year, Garcia posted a 5.02 ERA in 11 road starts and a 2.82 one in nine home outings.

"He's been very good lately, so we are just excited to get him on the mound," manager Mike Matheny said. "He does like throwing at home. I don't know any of our guys that don't like throwing here, but it just worked out well."

Lohse, who earned the win in Friday's Wild Card game, would have been available to pitch Game 3 on a normal four days of rest. Instead, the Cardinals chose to insert Carpenter into that spot. Though Carpenter's regular season was abbreviated due to thoracic outlet syndrome and subsequent surgery, his nine postseason wins remains tops in franchise history.

"Clearly, the way Carp finished the season, we feel confident that he can also give us a quality start," Mozeliak said.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.