TheInsiders MLB Playoff Wire

Go inside all four division series matchup's and stay up-to-date on all MLB playoff teams this October.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES: LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

3B Scott Rolen says he feels good after sitting out for more than two weeks with a strained left calf, but he finished 2 for 16 and seemed to be bothered when he ran, especially when he tried to stop.

CF Jim Edmonds is hoping to turn it on in the postseason. He finished 1 for 29 at the end of the season, but he is a .357 hitter in three Division Series.

RHP Jason Isringhausen has a solid postseason background. In six previous Division Series appearances with Oakland and the Cardinals, he hasn't allowed a run in six games, saving five.

LHP Steve Kline still is having pain in the index finger of his left hand, but he worked three games in three days over the weekend, so he is about as ready as he can be for the playoffs. "The painful finger he flipped me, it's more painful to do it now," manager Tony La Russa joked.

RHP Dan Haren, a rookie who pitched strongly at the end of the season, probably will take the place of injured RHP Chris Carpenter on the Cardinals' playoff roster.

NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES: HOUSTON ASTROS VS. ATLANTA BRAVES

3B Chipper Jones, hit on the right hand in Saturday's game against the Cubs, was unable to swing a bat from either side Monday because of swelling and pain. He still was unsure whether he would be able to play in Game 1 on Wednesday. Jones remains questionable for Game 2 Thursday.

INF Mark DeRosa (right ACL) is walking without aid. DeRosa, who began rehab 45 minutes after his surgery, thinks he may have overdone it a little in an effort to be more mobile. The knee ballooned and had to be drained on Monday. "That," he says, "is the worst pain in the world."

RHP John Thomson's Division Series start was pushed back because of his strained left oblique muscle. Thomson, previously slotted for Game 2, is scheduled for Game 3.

RHP Roy Oswalt, the Astros' Game 2 starter, won 20 games this season but has a 7.36 ERA at Turner Field. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA in four career games against Atlanta.

SS Adam Everett, who came off the disabled list Wednesday, has been sent to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., to get back to game speed in the instructional league. Barring injury, Everett should be ready to join the postseason roster if the Astros reach the National League Championship Series. He will miss the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. "I'm excited for the team," Everett said. "This is exciting, man. This is what you play for, to get to the playoffs and give yourself a chance to win a World Series." Everettt, who scored a run as a pinch hitter Friday, has not played defense in a game since he suffered a fractured left wrist on Aug. 6. He was activated from the DL for pinch-running and defensive purposes, but manager Phil Garner and general manager Gerry Hunsicker wanted him to get more reps before putting him on the postseason roster.

RHP Brandon Backe, scheduled to start Game 3 at home on Saturday, is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season as opposed to 1-2, 6.52 on the road.

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES: MINNESOTA TWINS VS. NEW YORK YANKEES

1B/DH Jason Giambi was left off the Division Series roster because of the Yankees' pitching questions. With RHPs Orlando Hernandez (tired shoulder) and Kevin Brown (tightness in lower back) questionable to start Game 3 of the Division Series at Minnesota, the Yankees will carry 11 pitchers. Taking 10 pitchers and not knowing what they'll get from Giambi was too much of a risk, said general manager Brian Cashman. "Just in this last week I felt, at least in the first round, he's not going to be a realistic option for us," Cashman said. "It has been a roller-coaster ride, and right now we're on the 'I don't think so' side." Giambi will continue to work out, but nobody knows if batting practice is enough scrape off the rust. "I've been taking batting practice," Giambi said. "I've been working my butt off. I don't have any regrets. I wanted to come back to see if I could help the team."

RHP Orlando Hernandez, who worked three innings Friday at Toronto before complaining of a tired shoulder, played catch Monday (eight minutes at 40 feet) and could throw in the bullpen Tuesday.

RF Jacque Jones remained in California on Monday to be with his family following the death over the weekend of his father from pancreatic and liver cancer. Jones is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday for the Twins' playoff opener, but he's doubtful for the starting lineup, in part because he's 2 for 22 in his career against Yankees RHP Mike Mussina.

2B Luis Rivas isn't expected to start either of the first two games of the Yankees series because of lingering soreness in his elbow (bone chips). He's available off the bench, and manager Ron Gardenhire said that he expects to start Rivas in Game 3 with sinkerball pitcher RHP Carlos Silva pitching because of Rivas' exceptional range.

RHP Tanyon Sturtze gives manager Joe Torre another option over struggling RHP Paul Quantrill in the seventh-inning setup role. Quantrill led the AL with 86 appearances, so there was speculation he was wearing down. He also had a knee injury earlier in the season.

RHP Paul Quantrill led the AL with 86 appearances, so there was speculation he was wearing down. He also had a knee injury earlier in the season.in the seventh-inning setup role. "I understand that things change in the postseason," Quantrill said. "But there's nothing wrong with me."

OF Bubba Crosby made the postseason roster as a reserve. He would be used as a pinch runner or for late inning defense.

IF/OF Michael Cuddyer, who hit .345 over the final 2 1/2 weeks of the season, replaces Luis Rivas in the lineup at second base for at least the first two games of the first-round playoff series.

RHP Steve Karsay, who didn't pitch last year following shoulder surgery, was left off the postseason roster but will travel with the team and could be activated for the ALCS.

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES: BOSTON RED SOX VS. ANAHEIM ANGELS

RHP Curt Schilling enjoys not only the most impressive postseason resume (5-1, 1.66 ERA) of any Sox pitcher but also produced the best performance of any Sox starter against Anaheim this season. Schilling went 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in his two starts against the Angels, his ERA almost one-third of the team's 6.08 mark against the Halos.

RHP Derek Lowe dismissed reports of his distress about being left out of the postseason pitching rotation by the Sox. Though one report suggested that Lowe was "livid," the hurler rebutted such claims. "There's a difference between being mad and being disappointed," Lowe told reporters of his assignment to the bullpen for the Division Series. "You've got to put your ego aside because you may pitch all five games out of the bullpen or you may not pitch at all."

OF Manny Ramirez (.308, 43 homers, 131 RBIs) and DH David Ortiz (.301, 41, 139) both finished the season with 40 homers and 40 doubles, becoming the first pair of teammates in history to ascend that 40/40 plateau. The pair also became the first duo to first American League tandem to exceed a .300 average, 40 homers and 100 RBIs since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig accomplished the feat in 1931. Ramirez and Ortiz throttled the Angels for five homers and 17 RBIs in 15 combined appearances this season.

DH David Ortiz (.301, 41, 139) and OF Manny Ramirez (.308, 43 homers, 131 RBIs) both finished the season with 40 homers and 40 doubles, becoming the first pair of teammates in history to ascend that 40/40 plateau. The pair also became the first duo to first American League tandem to exceed a .300 average, 40 homers and 100 RBIs since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig accomplished the feat in 1931. Ramirez and Ortiz throttled the Angels for five homers and 17 RBIs in 15 combined appearances this season.

RHP Scott Williamson remained on the bubble for the postseason roster. Over the weekend, Williamson appeared in back-to-back contests for the first time since his September return from the disabled list. After a shutout inning on Saturday, Williamson conceded an unearned run on Sunday. "It's out of my hands, but if they don't pick me I'll root on the guys wherever we go and support them," Williamson told the Boston Herald. "You can't be upset because we've all got the same goal: to win the World Series."

OF Johnny Damon hit .371 with nine runs in nine games against Anaheim this season.

2B Mark Bellhorn hit .323 and scored seven runs against Anaheim this season.

C Jason Varitek hit .355 against Anaheim this season.

DH Tim Salmon is injured and unable to play for the Angels in the postseason, but he is planning to attend games. Following knee surgery Salmon has been in Arizona and is on crutches but says he plans to be wherever the Angels play. "The doctors advised me against a lot of activity, but I plan to travel," said Salmon.

2B Adam Kennedy is injured and unable to play for the Angels in the postseason, but he is planning to attend games. Kennedy, who has a knee injury, went to Oakland for the Angels' final regular series last weekend.

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