ST. LOUIS —
In 2001, Randy Johnson came out of the bullpen on no days’ rest and the Diamondbacks rallied for two runs in the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera, beating the Yankees 3-2 on Luis Gonzalez’s broken-bat single.
“When you’re a little kid, you think about the seventh game of the World Series,” Gonzalez said. “It didn’t matter how the hit came.”
While the Cardinals are seeking their 11th title, the Rangers are going for the first in the 51-year history of the franchise, which began as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961. The team moved to Texas for the 1972 season.
“We’ve been backed into a corner for the last two months,” the Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker said, “so we know what it feels like.”
Carpenter won the opener, then allowed two runs in seven innings in Game 5 on Monday night, giving up solo homers to Mitch Moreland and Adrian Beltre. He didn’t get a decision in the Cardinals 4-2 loss but is 3-0 with a 3.30 ERA in five postseason appearances.
He would be just the second pitcher since 1991 to make three Series starts, following Arizona’s Curt Schilling a decade ago. But it would be just the second career start on three days’ rest for the 36-year-old, who has come back from several arm injuries.
After pitching a two-hit shutout at Houston on the last night of the regular season to help clinch the NL wild card, Carpenter gave up four runs over three innings in Game 2 of the division series at Philadelphia. He didn’t get a decision as the Cardinals rallied to win 5-4.
During the last two decades, starters on short rest are 9-8 with a 2.78 ERA in the World Series, with their teams going 12-15, according to STATS LLC.
“I learned what my body’s going to feel like, what my stuff’s going to be like,” Carpenter said. “You go out there and you make pitches. We’ll see what happens. Everybody’s going to be ready tomorrow, I can tell you that.”