Mulder Could Be Moved Back To Game Three

The $64,000 question (tells you how old I am), will Mark Mulder be ready for Game Two of the NLCS in St. Louis next Thursday?

Two days after taking a wicked line drive off of the bat of San Diego's Joe Randa, Mark Mulder it still experiencing some brusining and limited mobility on Saturday.

Mulder reported improvement in his sore left arm, but was still unable to throw in the bullpen before the game.

"I know it's way better today than it was yesterday," Mulder said before Saturday's game. "But whether I could go throw right now? No. There's no way. Hopefully if it gets better like it did from yesterday to today, then tomorrow, we'll see."

Mulder experienced less bruising and more mobility on Saturday than on Friday, even so there is still some question as to if Mulder could be ready in time to take his place in Game Two in the NLCS against Atlanta or Houston.

"It was black and blue," Mulder said. "I don't really turn black and blue that easy. It got me pretty good. All the fluid is just kind of going away now. It's still swollen a little bit. I don't know what you want to call it. It's not just in that one spot anymore.

"It doesn't really hurt. It's just, everything is tight. Because when you get hit there, everything protects it. So it made my shoulder tight. It made everything tight."

The National League Championship Series begins Wednesday, at home in St. Louis against either the Houston Astros or Atlanta Braves.

Chris Carpenter will start in Game One, and if if Mulder is not 100%, he could be held back to Game Three with Matt Morris going in Game Two.

Morris went six innings Saturday night allowing only two earned runs on five hits, leaving the game with a seven to two lead, looking like the staff ace he was once.

Cardinals' Manager Tony La Russa's confidence in Morris was well founded and Morris could find himself moving up in the rotation if Mulder isn't ready to take the mound for Game Two, Thursday in St. Louis.

Of course La Russa also has starters, Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis who could start Game Two in place of Mark Mulder and ahead of Matt Morris, who would be starting on four days of rest.

La Russa wasn't talking Saturday about who may even go in Game 4 against the Padres if it was necessary, so don't expect him to make a decision about the rotation in the NLCS until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mulder will have four more days to get ready for what would be his turn in the rotation, Thursday. The question is, will it be enough time off to get ready for his next start?

St. Louis vs. Houston or Atlanta
Series begins Wednesday
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 TBD @ St. Louis Wed Oct. 12 TBD FOX
Gm 2 TBD @ St. Louis Thu Oct. 13 8 pm FOX
Gm 3 St. Louis @ TBD Sat Oct. 15 4 pm FOX
Gm 4 St. Louis @ TBD Sun Oct. 16 7:30 pm FOX
Gm 5* St. Louis @ TBD Mon Oct. 17 8 pm FOX
Gm 6* TBD @ St. Louis Wed Oct. 19 4 pm FOX
Gm 7* TBD @ St. Louis Thu Oct. 20 8 pm FOX

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