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Cards' Morris gets Game 2 start10/24/2004 2:53 AM ET
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Matt Morris will be on the mound for Game 2 of the World Series on Sunday because he's been there before. No, not because the Cardinals right-hander has pitched on three days' rest before. "I think the last time I pitched on short rest was a Wiffle Ball game when I was 10," Morris said Saturday, when it was announced that he is the Cardinals' choice to face Curt Schilling in Game 2 at Fenway Park. And, no, it's not because Morris has vast experience at Fenway Park.
"Well, I played in the Cape Cod League as a freshman when I went to Seton Hall University," Morris said, referring to the college summer league played in the Northeast. "We came up here for a day off. Actually (Red Sox catcher Jason) Varitek was my catcher in the Cape Cod League in Hyannis. That was quite fun."OK, so what's the experience that has Morris in the big spot of Game 2 starter, on three days' rest, no less? It's postseason experience, which he holds over the rest of St. Louis' starters, including potential Game 4 starter Jason Marquis. Morris has 12 postseason pitching appearances, although none have come in the World Series. Trailing 1-0 in the Fall Classic after Saturday's 11-9 loss to the Red Sox, the Cardinals need Morris to deliver a quality start and send them back to St. Louis with the Series tied.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Saturday that he made the call based on Morris' experience factor and the fact that he only threw 80 pitches in his Game 6 start against the Astros in the National League Championship Series."We had an edge and we decided to play it," La Russa said. "He pitched 80 pitches, (Sunday) will be four days, three days' rest. If he had pitched a normal game and had to reach deeper, we wouldn't have done it. "But he has a lot of road postseason experience and that's this one, if it goes to Game 6, that's where he would be and we felt like he was the best shot. Plus you get Jason in as another hitter in our lineup." Marquis shifts to the Game 4 start at St. Louis, where the lefty-swinging right-hander will have the opportunity to show off his considerable hitting skill along with his pitching. Perhaps another reason was so the younger Marquis would not get thrown into the hostile environment of Fenway Park. That puts Morris in new territory as far as rest goes. But whether it's on short rest, long rest or regular rest doesn't matter to Morris.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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