- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2006

ST. LOUIS — We’ll never know if St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa would have bypassed Anthony Reyes in his starting rotation and brought back Jeff Weaver on short rest if not for Wednesday night’s rainout at Busch Stadium.

But once Game 4 between the Cardinals and Detroit Tigers got rained out, La Russa had his excuse to skip over Reyes’ turn in the rotation and hand the rest of the World Series to his three veteran starters.

So instead of Reyes, the rookie who tossed eight innings of four-hit ball to win Game 1 on Saturday, St. Louis will send Weaver (who allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings in a Game 2 loss) to the mound tonight against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.

“I think it will be his natural day,” La Russa said, referring to the fact Weaver will be starting on regular four days’ rest. “The way he’s pitched for us, it makes sense. And we keep Anthony ready for whatever we need.”

Reyes could come back to start Game 6, but La Russa seems to be leaning toward putting the rookie in the bullpen and calling upon veterans Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan to pitch the final two games of the series, if they are necessary.

Reyes threw a pregame bullpen session yesterday and now will play the waiting game to see when (or if) he returns to this series.

“There’s so much uncertainty about how long the series is going to go, with the weather,” La Russa said. “He’s going to throw a bullpen today, and we’ll see how long this thing goes. He’s not going to start in the St. Louis portion, but there’s a chance he would start in Detroit.”

Memories of 1989

Anyone who has expressed annoyance with this month’s spate of rainouts and altered postseason travel plans shouldn’t direct any complaints toward La Russa and the other members of his coaching staff that experienced the 1989 World Series earthquake in San Francisco.

That catastrophic event, which occurred just minutes before La Russa’s Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants were supposed to start Game 3, resulted in a record 10-day postponement before the series resumed.

There were some who didn’t believe baseball should be played at all following the tremor, but La Russa (whose club wound up sweeping the Giants in four games) felt it was appropriate.

“Looming over it all is [that] people were killed, loss of property, injured. It was a devastating hit to the Bay Area,” he said. “And there were some attempts to make us feel guilty for wanting to continue it. But I looked around and everybody else, every other form of entertainment [was back up and running].”

Tigers stay pat

Given a chance again last night to shake up his slumping lineup, Tigers manager Jim Leyland kept just about everything intact. Just as he planned to do before Wednesday’s rainout, he bumped regular No. 3 hitter Placido Polanco down to the 6-hole, replaced by shortstop Carlos Guillen.

But Leyland stuck with Polanco, Ivan Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson, who entered last night’s game a combined 0-for-34 in the series.

“I figure — no pun intended — it would be a cardinal sin to take someone like Polanco or Granderson out of the lineup,” Leyland said. “These are our guys. They got us here. We need to win it or lose it with those guys. That’s what I want to do, and that’s what I should do.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide