The Cardinals starting rotation struggled quite a bit in the National League Championship Series and that has caused a lot of concern for the World Series.
But I think there are several big reasons to believe the starters will be okay.
St. Louis and Milwaukee played more than 20 times from the start of the regular season through the second round of the playoffs. Hitters on both side couldn't have been more familiar with each other. But the only Cardinals starter the Rangers have seen this year is Edwin Jackson who faced Texas once. It wasn't a very good start -- he gave up 11 hits and four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. But their hitters won't know the Redbirds rotation like an old book as the Brewers did.
Another huge factor is that, for the first time this post-season the Cardinals will be able to set their rotation the way they want it. Ace Chris Carpenter didn't have to pitch in game seven of the NLCS, so he'll get to start the first game of the World Series at home and on not only full rest, but extra rest. Carpenter will start at least two games if the series lasts at least five games. And we could see him start up to three of the seven games if the Fall Classic goes all seven games. That takes an awful lot of the question marks out of the rotation.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
But beyond Carpenter, the Cardinals will be able to set things up to use the rest of their guys as they want. Jaime Garcia, who is much better at home than on the road, is in position to start game two at Busch Stadium. He pitched pretty well in his most recent NLCS start even though he got pulled in the fourth inning. It's not as if he was stinking up the joint. He got into a jam in the fifth and with the World Series on the line manager Tony La Russa decided to maximize matchups and pull him. But I think Garica will be very effective in game two.
The same goes for expected number three starter Kyle Lohse who over the last month was 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and he was statistically the Cardinals best starter over the course of the regular season. So it's not like the Redbirds rotation is helpless.
Texas has a tough line-up, no doubt about it. But the Cardinals have the tools to get the job done on both sides of the ball.