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No surprise: Cardinals will turn to Chris Carpenter in Game 1

St. Louis Cardinals v Florida Marlins

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01: Pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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By avoiding a Game 7 in the NLCS the Cardinals are able to line up their rotation for the World Series, which means Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 against the Rangers.

He’ll be matched up against C.J. Wilson, although Texas hasn’t made that official yet.

Carpenter was needed for Game 162 of the regular season and Game 5 of the NLDS--and he threw complete-game shutouts in both starts--so Kyle Lohse and Jaime Garcia got the Game 1 assignments in the first two playoff rounds.

Carpenter finished the regular season on fire, going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his final five starts, but surrounded the NLDS gem against the Phillies with a pair of poor playoff outings (one of them on short rest).

He tossed eight shutout innings versus the Tigers in his lone World Series start in 2006. He was also with the Cardinals during their previous run to the World Series in 2004, but didn’t pitch because of an injury. For his playoff career the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner is 7-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 starts.