Tony

Tony La Russa, sending a text message in denim, during a news conference of the postponement of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the Rangers and Cardinals.

Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers in St. Louis has been postponed because of rain in the forecast.

The Texas Rangers lead the series, 3-2, so their chance to clinch their first World Series championship will have to wait until Thursday night. Game 6 will be played at 8:05 p.m. ET on Thursday night. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Friday night.

Because of the forecast, there was no reason to wait any longer, Joe Torre, the executive vice president of baseball operations, told reporters Thursday of the decision.

Torre said he and Major League Baseball officials knew they would postpone the game early in the afternoon if the forecast looked questionable. Torre informed managers Ron Washington of the Rangers and Tony La Russa of the Cardinals of this on Tuesday.

Torre told reporters that MLB looked ahead and rain dominated every forecast we had probably for the last three days. They were all consistent there was going to be rain during the game.

So, how does this change things? Here are three somewhat important points:

1. This is the first rainout since the 2008 World Series between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, in Philadelphia. Looking at the radar over St. Louis, nothing looks promising. In 2008, they played five-plus innings, before rain and snow forced suspension. It was a mess to figure out. Good move by baseball to cancel early and move on to the next day.

2. During a news conference Tuesday, Torre looked at MLB commissioner Bud Selig and said, Do you want to play in the rain? Well, no, he probably doesn't. But he probably would want these teams to play.

Ratings are already somewhat lower than last year's World Series, which tied a record for the lowest ever. Considering this Series has gone to six games, it will likely avoid the fate of being the lowest-rated World Series in history.

That said, Selig can't be happy. In the recent past, a World Series that lasted six or seven games would end on a Sunday (Game 7) or the dreaded Saturday (Game 6). A new postseason schedule was supposed to alleviate all that. Now, a potential showdown in Game 7 could be forced to the black hole of Friday ratings.

3. Oh, right, baseball. The most important effect looks ahead to a potential Game 7, but it could be significant. If the Cardinals win Thursday night at home, that forces a Game 7 on Friday. That's when their ace, Chris Carpenter, could be available for a start.

Carpenter would pitch on three days' rest, so the Cardinals will have to weigh the options of their ace on short rest or Kyle Lohse, solid all season, on regular rest. Extra rest, even -- six days.

However, Lohse did get knocked out of Game 3 -- the slugfest which the Cardinals eventually went on to win -- after just three innings (three earned runs, two home runs allowed). Carpenter won Game 1. He couldn't hold an early lead in Game 5, but he still pitched well.  

Either way, the important thing is that the Cardinals will have him available, either to start or out of the bullpen for a few innings