Playoff Series: Game 4 of 5

St. Louis won 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 21
St. Louis7Final
Game 2: Sunday, October 22
St. Louis1Final
Game 3: Tuesday, October 24
St. Louis5
Game 4: Wednesday, October 25
St. Louis
Game 4: Thursday, October 26
St. Louis5
Game 5: Friday, October 27
St. Louis4

8:27 PM ET, October 25, 2006

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

Starting Pitchers

Detroit: Bonderman (0-0, 3.38 ERA)

St. Louis: Suppan (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Suppan, Cardinals look to continue stellar pitching in Game Four

Detroit at St Louis 8:27 pm EDT World Series Cardinals lead, 2-1

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- With all the talk before Game Three centering on Kenny Rogers' left hand, the right arm of Chris Carpenter was the big story. The St. Louis Cardinals will look to another top hurler on Wednesday.

Jeff Suppan will take the mound at home as the Cardinals look to take a commanding 3-1 lead when they face the Detroit Tigers in Game Four of the World Series.

Rogers caused a media frenzy after Game Two when he was caught on videotape with a suspicious brown substance on his pitching hand. A debate ensued about what it was, why it was there and what - if anything - should be done as punishment to the veteran lefthander.

But Carpenter stole the show in Wednesday's Game Three. Making his World Series debut, he pitched eight masterful innings as St. Louis posted a 5-0 victory over the Tigers to grab a 2-1 lead in the series.

"You know, the best compliment we can give him is we've seen him do this the last two or three years over and over again," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Like last year, I remember (pitching coach) Dave (Duncan) said, and he's had so many great pitchers, it was the most relentless streak of great pitching he'd seen."

Carpenter allowed three hits in eight innings. The righthander yielded a third-inning single to Brandon Inge and singles in the fifth and eighth to Sean Casey. He struck out six, did not walk a batter and never had a three-ball count as he threw 55 of 82 pitches for strikes.

Jim Edmonds drove in two runs for the Cardinals, but the game was broken open in the seventh on a costly error by Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya. After walking the first two batters, Zumaya had a chance for what looked like an easy double play after fielding a comebacker from Albert Pujols. But Zumaya opted for the out at third, throwing behind third baseman Inge and both David Eckstein and Preston Wilson scored for a 4-0 advantage.

La Russa said that his team's offense has produced well, but pitching is what wins in the playoffs and he is confident in his staff going into Game Four.

"Well, I mean I think our offense has produced enough," La Russa said. "But one reason that we've gotten from day one of the playoffs to today, we're in decent shape (due to) our pitching, both at the front and back end of the game."

Suppan (1-1, 1.86 ERA), the MVP of the National League Championship Series, dominated the New York Mets to propel the the Cardinals to the World Series.

He was 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two NLCS starts, highlighted by a solid performance in Game Seven on Thursday. The righthander yielded one run, two hits and five walks in seven-plus innings of St. Louis' dramatic 3-1 victory.

"Well, I mean, any start I have prior to a start I'm getting ready for, you know, I'm trying to take the positives out of them, good or bad," Suppan said. "With that being said, I've done that with every start I've made. It would be no different if it was another game.

"Basically I thought I was able to focus on what I needed to focus on and that was a positive that I would take out of those two games."

He will be making his second World Series start after struggling against the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Suppan gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings in his lone Fall Classic appearance.

He will be opposed by Jeremy Bonderman (1-0, 3.00), who was the starting pitcher in the clinching wins against the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics, posting a win and a no-decision.

According to Bonderman, his experience in series-ending games is a good experience.

"I don't know, I pitched two games, so I mean the pressure of, you know, what's going on, you know how you're going to feel going out there, just go out and pitch your game and kind of let you calm down a little bit," he said.

The hard-throwing righthander has stepped up in the playoffs to be one of the Tigers' most reliable starters. The 23-year-old Bonderman pitched solidly in one start in each of the first two rounds.

"I feel good about all our pitchers," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "And it's not something you're going to change at this point. They've gotten us to this point and we're not going to change anything. I have total confidence that we have good pitchers. I'm sure Tony (La Russa) feels very confident in his pitchers.

"Are they both going to pitch a good game tonight or is one going to pitch a good game and one is not? Nobody knows the answer to that."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

 DetroitSt. Louis
Current StreakL5L1
Last 104-63-7

Pitching Matchup

DetroitSt. Louis
J. Bonderman
0-0, 0.00 ERA

J. Suppan
0-0, 0.00 ERA

Gameday Lineups

NO.DetroitSt. Louis
1. C. Granderson, CF D. Eckstein, SS
2. C. Monroe, LF C. Duncan, RF
3. C. Guillen, SS A. Pujols, 1B
4. M. Ordonez, RF J. Edmonds, CF
5. S. Casey, 1B S. Rolen, 3B
6. I. Rodriguez, C P. Wilson, LF
7. P. Polanco, 2B Y. Molina, C
8. B. Inge, 3B A. Miles, 2B
9. J. Bonderman, P J. Suppan, P