2012 NLDS: Why Chris Carpenter Will Come Up Clutch AGAIN in Crucial Game 3

Jeff SucherContributor IIIOctober 8, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after he caught a line drive hit by Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies for the final out in the bottom of the eighth inning during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After the Game 2 offensive explosion, who knows what bats will show up in D.C. when the Nationals host the Cardinals for the remainder of the series.

If this season is any indication of the inconsistency the offense has shown, Chris Carpenter may just have to do it all himself, much like this famous movie clip. Well maybe it is not that bad, but that is the good thing about Carp. Give him one run and, more times than not, he'll make it stand up if he has to.

All Cardinal fans remember last season in Game 5 of the NLDS. Carpenter pitched an absolute masterpiece, out-dueling fellow Cy Young award winner and good friend, Roy Halladay. 

When the Cardinals need a win, they turn to Carpenter. He started three games in the World Series last season, posting a 2-0 record and a 2.84 ERA. He also boasts a 9-2 career record in 18 postseason starts with a very solid 3.05 ERA. 

The guy just knows how to pitch in the big moment when all is on his shoulders. With all the big build-up here, you would think this is a do-or-die situation. It is not really, but this is really a big momentum game for the Cardinals. A 2-1 series lead would go a long way to put the Nationals against the wall and the experience of the defending World Series champions could very well take over.

The last time the Cardinals faced Nationals Game 3 starter Edwin Jackson, they beat him up for nine runs in 1.1 innings. Hopefully, Game 3 will be a repeat of Jackson's last start against the Cards. But if it's not and the Cardinals can only scratch out a run or two, there is no one on the staff Cardinal fans would rather have on the mound than Chris Carpenter.