Sun sets on NLDS

Finally, the New Yorkers are finished with their first-round play and the Padres and Cardinals will play a night game! Including the regular season finales for both teams, San Diego and St. Louis had played four straight day games over seven days. Before you pull out the air violins and play them a facetious little tune, consider that the difference for players is not just adjusting their body clocks six or seven hours earlier. Day games are usually great for pitchers and terrible for hitters, as shadows creep across the field leaving home plate in the dark and the mound in the sun. We’ll see what kind of effect that has particularly on Cards starter Chris Carpenter, who dominated the Padres in Game 1 by pounding curveball after curveball through the shadows and into the dirt.

Ph_122596Ph_121409Padres starter Woody Williams won’t have to face usually-fabulous Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen, who is out after revealing to coaches a shoulder injury that has bothered him for some time. Rolen is 1-for-11 in the series and batted .227 in the series, and replacement Scott Spiezio is 3-for-11 in regular-season matchups against Williams, with three home runs. But losing Rolen’s glove at third base is a bit of a concern. Spiezio’s facial hair, meanwhile, is a major concern.  — Adam McCalvy /

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