MINNEAPOLIS, OCT. 16 -- First, there's the Metrodome, with its Hefty Bag in right field, a roof the same color as a baseball and more sound effects than the Universal Studio Tour -- 55,000 screaming fans along with a tape of a locomotive engine, a set of drums and a Tarzan scream.

Second is the St. Louis Cardinals' long, ugly injury list. Today, they dropped injured first baseman Jack Clark from their roster, but said that injured third baseman Terry Pendleton would remain on it as a pinch hitter and designated hitter. A switch hitter, he can only swing the bat left-handed, so will probably DH in games 2 and 6 against right-hander Bert Blyleven.

(The designated hitter is being used in the American League park only -- games 1, 2, 6, 7.)

So basically, the Cardinals are beginning the 1987 World Series without half their infield and half their home runs. Between them, Clark and Pendleton had 47 of the Cardinals' 94 homers and drove in 202 runs.

If ever there was a World Series that appears to be breaking right for the Minnesota Twins, it's this one, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday with St. Louis rookie Joe Magrane pitching against Minnesota's Frank Viola.

The Cardinals realize all of this is happening to them, but say they faced the same thing when they held off the New York Mets and Montreal Expos without Clark, then beat the San Francisco Giants without him in the National League playoffs.

The Cardinals now may be the most underwhelming World Series team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals, who, interestingly, beat the Cardinals in seven games.

Without Clark and Pendleton, the Cardinals will start a Game 1 lineup that totaled 34 homers in 1987, including two during the playoffs. They're also going to start three rookies -- Magrane, DH Tom Pagnozzi and first baseman Jim Lindeman.

"What am I going to do?" Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog asked. "I'm going to pray a lot more. I'm going to pray for a run. I don't know how we're going to do it. I don't know how we beat the Giants.

"To make this fair, the Twins ought to play without {first baseman Kent} Hrbek and {third baseman Gary} Gaetti. That would make it even. They tell me {Twins Manager} Tom Kelly is a pretty nice guy. He might go for that."

He's asked about Pagnozzi, who hit .188 in 48 regular season at-bats.

"Oh, he might hit the ball out of the park," Herzog said. "He's a pretty good hitter."

However, in his clubhouse, players took their problems in stride, probably because they have a lot of practice. This has been the Cardinals' year of living dangerously -- 12 players spent time on the disabled list -- yet the team has survived this far.

"It's always something," shortstop Ozzie Smith said. "We've had them all year. You feel sorry for yourself for a while, but you still have to go out and play the games. We won't get the same production out of the other guys, so everyone else has to pitch in and help a little more."

The Cardinals were already last in the majors in home runs, but without Clark and Pendleton, might have less power than any team to play in a World Series.

That means their only hope is that their pitchers will pitch extraordinarily and that the first three guys in their batting order -- Vince Coleman, Smith and Tommy Herr -- will have big series. Those three stole 171 of the Cardinals' 248 bases this season, and believe if they can get on base, they can run against Twins catcher Tim Laudner, who threw out only 16 of 84 would-be stealers during the regular season.

"The one advantage we still have is speed," Coleman (109 steals) said. "If we get two or three singles at a time, we'll be all right. Our problem against the Giants was that we couldn't get enough runners on base."

The Cardinals especially had problems with the Giants' left-handers, hitting .231. And Saturday, they'll be going against Viola, the game's winningest left-hander the last four years.

"I'm not facing a speed lineup," Viola said. "I'm facing a uniform. Whatever works for me that day, that's how I'll pitch. I'm not going to change the way I pitch just because they have speed in their lineup. You can't worry if Jack Clark or anyone else isn't in the lineup. If all your pitches are working, it doesn't matter who you face. At the same time, if you go ball one, ball two, on every hitter, they're going to hit you."

By tonight, after the Cardinals had dropped Clark and announced that Pendleton couldn't play third, Las Vegas oddsmakers had made the Series a "pick 'em" matchup. It would be hard to do otherwise for a team that has terrific pitching and defense, but Jose Oquendo, Pagnozzi and Tom Lawless at the bottom of the batting order.

Much will depend on Magrane, 23, the left-hander who was terrific at times this season but allowed four runs in four innings in his only postseason start.

Herzog chose him over veteran right-hander Bob Forsch, despite the Twins starting only one left-handed hitter (Hrbek).

"We feel he has the ability to be a No. 1 pitcher," Herzog said.