ST. LOUIS, OCT. 20 -- Left-hander Greg Mathews will make his first appearance in nine days when he starts Game 4 for the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night. Mathews had been one of the stars of the National League playoffs until he pulled a right quadriceps muscle and left after three innings of Game 5 with some impressive postseason numbers -- a 1-0 record and 3.48 ERA.

He'll oppose Frank Viola. Twins Manager Tom Kelly was waiting until after Game 3 to name a starter. Had the Twins won tonight, Joe Niekro would have faced Mathews.

Niekro has pitched 21 years in the majors without appearing in a World Series game.

Viola was bothered by a tender shoulder the last few weeks of the regular season, although Kelly said, "It's fine now."

Meanwhile, Mathews said his injured leg also has healed.

"I had a little weakness in the center quad," he said. "We worked with weights, and it responded."

He said pitching after watching other Cardinals throw three games against the Twins would give him a good idea how he should pitch.

"The Twins are the same type hitters as the Giants," he said. "I'll pitch the same way."

He said having nine days off should not be a problem, adding, "I pitched a game in New York late in the year and struck out nine and walked one. I had seven days off before that one. I don't think you're going to overthrow or be rusty at this time of the year. Once you get above 200 innings, you can adjust to little layoffs." Herzog Speaks

After complaining about the Metrodome, Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog backed off some today, joking, "They've let the air out of the roof. I talked to Calvin {Griffith}, and he said they may take the roof off for the last two games." . . .

The Twins and the Minneapolis media reacted critically today to Herzog's comments that the Twins "couldn't win the American League East as they're now constituted. They couldn't win the NL East as they're now constituted."

"He's grasping for something," Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti said. "Just keep lighting a fire under us." . . .

Kelly on designated hitter Randy Bush: "He works hard and he knows his limitations. He knows he's not an everyday player. He knows that about himself. He's no dummy. He knows when to close his mouth when things aren't going too well, and he knows when to clown around. He's smart. He's streetwise. He knows what it involves to play the game and get the job done. He's not an everyday player, but the way he plays the game he can stay in the big leagues a long time."Trade Talk

The Toronto Blue Jays' search for a catcher has focused on Jody Davis of the Chicago Cubs. Sources said tonight the two teams have discussed a Davis-for-Dave Stieb trade. The negative for the Cubs is that Stieb has had arm problems the last two years and has a huge contract -- eight more years worth an estimated $13 million. However, there is a buyout clause after 1988. . . .

A dispute between the Twins and Vikings over the use of the Metrodome Sunday has been settled in the Twins' favor. If the World Series requires a Game 7, the Vikings-Broncos game will be shifted to Monday night. . . .

Twins pitcher Les Straker struck out in both his at-bats tonight, and AL pitchers are hitless in their last 61 at-bats. They're hitting .075 (10 for 133) since the designated hitter rule was instituted in 1976. The last AL pitcher to get a hit was Baltimore's Tim Stoddard in Game 4 of the '79 Series . . . The Twins were 71-91 last season, the worst record ever in the preceding year for a World Series team. The previous worst was by the Boston Red Sox, who went 72-90 in 1966 then won the pennant in '67. . . .

Cardinals pitchers had thrown 24 consecutive scoreless innings before the Twins scored in the sixth . . . In two World Series appearances, Juan Berenguer has a 33.83 ERA . . . The Twins are 51-28 in games started by Viola and Bert Blyleven and 40-51 when anyone else starts.