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Mulder expects to be ready for HOU

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  • Mulder expects to be ready for HOU

    Mulder expects he'll be ready for the Astros
    By Derrick Goold
    Jason Marquis (left) watches pitcher Chris Carpenter play with his son, Sam, Monday at Busch Stadium.
    (Laurie Skrivan/P-D)

    With the bruise on his biceps clearing up and the soreness in his arm diminishing, Cardinals starter Mark Mulder played some catch Monday. He will throw from the mound in the next couple of days and has not been ruled out as the Game 2 starter for the National League Championship Series.

    Mulder was hit by a line drive on his throwing arm Thursday during Game 2 of the division series. He continued to pitch the Cardinals to a win in that game but experienced aching, tightness and tenderness in the days that followed.

    Monday was his first day throwing a ball since.

    "Pretty good," Mulder said. "Normal, just like it would be any other time between starts. I'll be fine to pitch.

    Manager Tony La Russa declined to sketch out his starting rotation past Chris Carpenter, who will start Wednesday's Game 1 against Houston. He has options, depending on Mulder's availability, he said. La Russa said Mulder is still being considered to make the Game 2 start as mapped out previously.

    La Russa wouldn't say anything else about the rotation, though there have been indications that Mulder is more likely to throw in one of the weekend games at Minute Maid Park.

    That would buy him a few days to heal. The Cardinals have three pitchers who are available for Game 2.

    Of the Cardinals' starters, the one with the least success at Minute Maid Park is righthander Jeff Suppan. He did not start there this season and is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA at Houston's home in his career, not including his postseason loss in Game 3 of last October's NLCS.

    The Cardinals' best pitcher at Houston was Carpenter, who was 3-0 there. No team saw Carpenter throw more innings against it and strike out more of its players than Houston (39 innings, 31 strikeouts). He dispatched all three of Houston's top-flight starters, and Carpenter threw complete-game victories in both of his outings vs. Astros' ace Roger Clemens.

    Matt Morris is 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA in 11 games at Minute Maid, and Jason Marquis was 2-0 there this season with a 2.18 ERA.

    If Mulder is delayed to a Game 3 start, it's possible the Astros will start Clemens for that game. Mulder was 0-1 in two starts at Minute Maid, but in his most recent start there, he allowed one earned run over eight innings in a game the Cardinals lost in the 13th inning.

    Walker's knee still sore

    Outfielder Larry Walker told Weinberg on Monday that he was glad a game wasn't scheduled for that afternoon as his right knee continues to hurt. He didn't hurt it tumbling into foul territory chasing a fly ball during Saturday's Game 3, but rather taking a Woody Williams pitch directly off the knee to load the bases in the second inning of the clincher.

    "The knee was real sore (Monday)," Weinberg relayed from Walker, "but he'll be ready by (Wednesday)."

    Roster set?

    La Russa said he expects his roster to remain the same as it was for the division series. Lefty reliever Ray King, who did not throw in that series, left the team Monday to attend his father's funeral, but he is expected back by game time Wednesday. Rookies John Gall and John Rodriguez, both outfielders, made their playoff debuts with hitless at-bats against the San Diego Padres. They provide bigger offensive threats as pinch hitters than the Cardinals' other outfield and bench options, and So Taguchi played all three games as a defensive replacement.

    World Series ticket sale

    The Cardinals will begin selling tickets to World Series games at 9 a.m. Saturday. As with the other rounds of the playoffs, tickets will not be sold at Busch Stadium, as the club instead will sell only on the Internet and over the phone. An estimate of 12,000 seats, approximately 4,000 a game, will be for sale, the club said.

    To purchase online, buyers must register at the club's official Web site, by 11 a.m. Wednesday for a random drawing that will determine who can purchase tickets online. Winners of the drawing will be notified by e-mail and will be given instructions how to purchase tickets Saturday in a first-come, first-serve manner.

    Phone sales will be on a first-call, first-served basis. The ticket sales number is 314-421-2400.

    There is a one-game, two-ticket purchase limit. Ticket prices, according to the club, are unchanged from the 2004 prices, which also were set by Major League Baseball. Prices are: $150 for terrace box outfield; $140 for loge reserved outfield; $125 for terrace reserved or upper terrace reserved; $65 for bleacher; and $45 for standing room.

    Should they win the National League, the Cardinals will host games 3, 4, and, if necessary, 5 of the World Series. Those games are scheduled for Oct. 25-27 and are scheduled for 7 p.m. St. Louis time.

    [email protected]
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    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Mulder will be ready...

    If we win Game 1...I expect Mulder in Game 3 at the Juice HellHole.