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If Game 7, who starts for Cardinals?

The one big ramification of the initial Game 6 rainout is it gives Tony La Russa the option of starting Chris Carpenter on three days' rest in Game 7 if St. Louis wins on Thursday.

The Cardinals haven't announced a starter and that's not just a tactical decision. They need to win Game 6 first, and Jake Westbrook, Kyle Lohse and even Carpenter could be options out of the bullpen.

Assuming none of them appear in Game 6, who would you start? Here's a quick rundown to check out and then you can vote in the poll.

Chris Carpenter: As Buster Olney writes, Carpenter is 36 years old and has already thrown a career-high 267.1 innings. While Carpenter says his elbow is fine right now, he did have treatment earlier in the playoffs. He started Game 2 of the NLDS against the Phillies on three days' rest and lasted just three innings, allowing five hits and three walks. Overall, the recent outlook of guys starting on three days' rest in the postseason -- something they never do in the regular season -- is not good.

Kyle Lohse: He's made three postseason starts this year and has lasted just 12.2 innings, giving up 18 hits, 12 runs and four home runs. Opponents are hitting .321 against him. He struggled in July and August (5.71 ERA), but did pitch well in four September starts. The positive is that he's a good bet to throw strikes; the negative is he hasn't had a good start since Sept. 24.

Jake Westbrook: He's pitched just one inning in the postseason, a mop-up effort in Game 4 in which he threw one scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. He hasn't started since Sept. 27, a game in which the Astros knocked him out in the third inning. Right-handers hit .316 off him this season. The Rangers would have six right-handers in their lineup. Seems like a long shot to me.

The wild-card option is La Russa not trusting any of the three and going with a bullpen game ... say, Fernando Salas to start, followed by Lance Lynn. Those guys could get you four or five innings between the two of them if they pitch well. Then you turn things over to Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte. It's a possibility and one that I kind of like, but my bet is Lohse gets the start with Salas the first guy out of the pen (depending on Game 6 usage, of course).

Update: It's also possible, of course, that Edwin Jackson could start. The rainout would push him back to regular rest. Jackson walked seven in his Game 4 start, although escaped with just three runs over five innings. His starts in the NLCS were poor, as he he lasted a total 6.1 innings and allowed four home runs. He probably has more potential for a good start than Lohse, but also more risk for a disaster start.