Game Day Notes - Game III NLDS

The St. Louis Cardinals leading the San Diego Padres 2 games to none, in the best of five series, will be looking for sweep, as they take on the San Diego Padres, in game three of the NLDS, tonight.

The Cardinals and Padres meet tonight for Game 3 in this best of- five NL Division Series with the Cardinals holding a 2-0 lead.

Tonight's game can be viewed on ESPN with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan calling the action. The game can also be heard on ESPN radio with Gary Cohen and Luis Gonzalez and on KMOX with Mike Shannon & Wayne Hagin. Game time 10:00 PM, CDT.

Matt Morris will be making his fifth Division Series start in his 14th career postseason game, 10th career start.

Morris is 1-5 with a 4.06 ERA during the postseason and 1-2, 2.03 in the Division Series and got the nod to start Game 3 over fellow starters, Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis.

Is he ready?

"[My confidence level is] as high as it could be," Morris said. "You know, this is what it's all about. It's all about getting to this point, into the playoffs, getting the opportunity to pitch, go out and compete, concentrate on every pitch and see what happens."

Matt has the most postseason experience among the five starters and is the most tenured player on the Cardinals roster, spending all of his nine years in the Majors with the Cardinals after being drafted in the first round.

The Cardinals will be matching up in tonight's game vs. former Cardinal Woody Williams who spent three-plus years with the Cardinals from August 2001 to 2004 and was a key component and leader in the team's rotation going 45-22 in his 93 games (92 starts) with a 3.53 ERA while a Redbird.

Cardinals on the postseason roster have hit .279 (36-129) off Williams over his career.

Game Four? Will there be one? If so who will start in game four for the Redbirds?

Manager Tony La Russa has yet to name a Game 4 starter, indicating it would be either Jeff Suppan or Jason Marquis.

Suppan was the winner in the deciding Game 4 of last year's Division Series vs. LA, allowed 2 runs over 7.0 IP and retired the last 14 batters faced. Suppan faced San Diego once this season and did not get a decision (6-5 SD win) with 5.2 IP and 3 ER.

Marquis made 3 starts in last year's postseason and went 1-1 vs. the Padres this season, allowing six runs in 14.1 IP.

There are many fans in Cardinal Nation that thought either Marquis or Suppan should have been given the start in Game three over Morris. Of course Cardinal Nation isn't a democracy.

The record shows, since Aug. 25, Matt Morris is winless with a 5.59 ERA, which has Cardinals manager Tony La Russa fielding questions like we want to know, "Why is he starting Game 3?"

"Matt deserves it," said La Russa

In spite of La Russa's confidence in Morris, there are many fans and pundits who believe, with Morris going to the mound, it may open the door for the Padres to get back in the series.

St. Louis is playing in the postseason for the 21st time in franchise history. The Cardinals own 16 N.L. Championships and nine World Championships. This is the sixth Division Series the Cardinals have played in and the fifth in six seasons. The Cardinals have won back-to-back division titles for the first time since the beginning of divisional play began in 1969.

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