Oswalt, who beat St. Louis in Game 2 of this NLCS, starts tonight in Game 6 with the Astros up 3-2 in the series. Oswalt has won 59 regular season games the last three years, but is often overshadowed being on the same staff with the hometown duo of Pettitte and Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner. If Game 7 is needed, Clemens will face the Cardinals in the same situation as last October. If the Astros win Wednesday night, the Rocket almost certainly would start Game 1 of the World Series at the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night. Pettitte didn’t get a decision in Game 5 on Monday night, when Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer off closer Brad Lidge in the ninth inning to give St. Louis a 5-4 victory. – La Russa has been in the dugout for two of the most stunning home runs in postseason history. La Russa was managing the Oakland Athletics when a hobbling Kirk Gibson connected off Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers. And, of course, La Russa was there to greet Pujols with a hug after his three-run shot saved St. Louis’ season Monday night and sent the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory at Houston in Game 5 of the NL championship series. “I think my first understanding of the significance of Gibson’s home run is the drama of what he did that day, as hurt as he was, that being his only at-bat. And if you saw him foul those pitches off and how gimpy he was, it was an incredibly heroic kind of at-bat, if you can use hero in sports,” La Russa said. “But I think beyond that performance, they won the world championship, and that’s made it one of the greatest at-bats of all-time, and that’s why I think unless we can get another couple of wins, it won’t be as great of a story.” – The Houston Astros aren’t worried about Pujols’ game-winning homer in Game 5 having any lingering effect on closer Brad Lidge. “Brad, he’s the type of closer that has amnesia, he won’t think anything about it next time he gets out there,” Oswalt said. “He’ll come out at the end of the next game, and I’m sure he’ll be lights-out just like he always is.” Lidge, who had 42 saves during the regular season, saved three straight games in this NLCS before Pujols’ homer in the ninth inning Monday. “I think he’ll come right back and do what he’s done his whole career,” general manager Tim Purpura said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ST. LOUIS — Cardinals third baseman Abraham Nunez is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Game 6 of the NL championship series tonight after missing two games with a deep left thigh bruise. “He worked out, I watched some of it,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday. “Unless I go in there and find out something that wasn’t obvious, I expect him to start.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Nunez was injured during Game 3 on Saturday in a jarring collision while playing in the field. Houston’s Jason Lane slid into third and his knee crushed the leg of Nunez, who was coming off the bag to field Larry Walker’s throw from right field. Nunez was spun to the ground and had to be helped off the field. During the Cardinals’ optional workout at Busch Stadium on Tuesday, Nunez took ground balls and batting practice. “I tried to do everything at game speed to see how I’d do. I just want to make sure I’m 100 percent ready to go,” Nunez said. “It’s pretty loose and it’s not sore.” Nunez said “it’s up to the boss” if he’s playing. In six postseason games, Nunez has hit .381 (8-of-21) with four runs scored and three RBIs. Nunez was the starter at third base most of the season when Scott Rolen was limited to 56 games because of two shoulder operations. John Mabry and Hector Luna, who started four games at third during the regular season, started the last two NLCS games. – Andy Pettitte got the first shot to pitch Houston into the World Series. Now, it’s 20-game winner Roy Oswalt’s turn.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But by the end of the morning, all participants were enriched to the brim, hugging each other, laughing, enjoying – and looking forward to the ninth annual conference in the fall of 2009. (Mark your calendars!) But all this mental stimulation was just the beginning. With so many women in the captive audience, it was only fitting that Cathy Alessandra and Linda Wenglikowski, event co-chairwomen, would add an opportunity for serious shopping into the mix with a lineup of accessory boutiques. Because proceeds from this year’s conference go toward the hospital’s breast cancer programs, the keynote speaker, appropriately, was cancer survivor and entertainer Ann Jillian. To add to the spirit of gratitude, two women were honored by LCM with major awards. Foundation president Joseph Zanetta awarded the 2007 Mary Potter Humanitarian Award to LCM benefactor Marie Crimi Roser, a 10-year member of the board of trustees and former vice chairwoman of the $50million legacy campaign. “I wish I could say `Please, please support Little Company of Mary Hospital,’ but that would be preaching to the chorus,” she said, adding, “I have gotten so much more from the other volunteers than I have given.” If you didn’t make it to Friday’s wildly successful eighth annual Women’s Wellness Conference, “The Power of Pink” at the Torrance Marriott Hotel, give yourself 20 lashes for missing a chance to celebrate being alive with 600-plus radiant, wonderful, blessed, “smokin’ hot” South Bay sisters. In a single morning, attendees of the daylong benefit for Little Company of Mary Community Health Foundation found inner peace by living in the present, learning about spiritual well-being through dream therapy, discovering how to live in harmony with teens and learning how to have sensational skin (depending on which two seminars they chose to attend). What’s more, they learned how to avoid identity fraud, discovered the secret of a flat tummy, and even learned “how mama got her groove back.” No wonder a number of attendees take a mental health day off from work to give themselves this day of fun, friendship and fulfillment. The only stress was deciding which programs to attend. Imagine having to choose between your soul and your sex life, your teen and your identity. Next, Beverly Wishon, director of the hospital’s Medical Staff Affairs, introduced Kathy Harren, LCM chief nursing officer, as winner of the 2007 Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence. In accepting the award, Harren quoted a former executive of Nike who left to “find himself” and traveled the impoverished areas of the world. “What he learned,” she said, “is millions of people in the world would do anything to do this good work, and we are the lucky ones.” She added that good work is never done alone. “It has to be done shoulder to shoulder with others.” Following lunch, Jillian, 57, spoke with great humor and candor – even throwing in a well-tuned rendition of “Amazing Grace.” No, Jillian may no longer be that blond beauty with the big eyes, the bob and the bangs. But she’s just as lovely on the inside. “I know, I know. I’m not as blond, not as young and not as thin, but I am here, baby,” Jillian said in her opening remarks, to a burst of applause. “Without faith and a good sense of humor, we couldn’t get through much in life.” Among her words of wisdom, Jillian acknowledged that “challenges and transitions” are what it takes “to survive and thrive.” She credited her parents, who escaped from Lithuania on a ship headed for America during World War II, for her strong faith. And she acknowledged Betty Ford for pointing out that it is OK to cry, but not for too long. “My motto is: After you pray, accept, adapt and then move on and live your reward,” she said. Following an hour’s talk laced with witty one-liners and recollections of celebrities including Bob Hope and Johnny Carson, Jillian took questions. Regarding having reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, she said she opted not to, but respected those who do. “Who we are comes from within. The rest is cherries on the cake,” she said. “Given the choice between looking again into my son’s eyes and losing an inch or two (she pointed to her breast), I’ll take life.” Meredith Grenier 310-540-5511, Ext. 494 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!