The Cardinals former ace and 2005 Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter enjoyed an offseason that could almost be called “normal”. Cardinal fans were hoping for a strong return from the pitcher this year, but most were playing the safe bet that his health would keep him from taking the ball every fifth day.
After a very solid month of Grapefruit League play, Carpenter started to sway our opinions. What if he could continue his spring pace in the regular season? How good would the Cardinal rotation be?
On April 9, against Pittsburgh, Carp threw a one-hit gem through seven innings, striking out seven Pirates along the way. It took just one outing to forget about all the injuries and rehab of the last two seasons. Everyone was back on the Chris Carpenter bandwagon, hoping to ride it all the way to the playoffs.
Then in the middle of last night’s game, the damn wagon caught fire, the wheels fell off, and the road to October baseball shut down for construction. They’re saying a few weeks, but we know how accurate those timetables are.
Okay. Maybe it’s not that bad. Really, it could be a lot worse.
After getting through the first three innings unscathed on less than stellar stuff, Carpenter was pulled from the game with a strained left ribcage before throwing a pitch in the fourth. As he walked off the mound, you could feel the sinking hearts of Cardinal fans everywhere. No matter the outcome of the game, the Redbirds lost.
Although there hasn’t yet been an official announcement, it looks like Carpenter will head to the disabled list, Brad Thompson will be optioned to Triple-A Memphis, and Chris Perez and Mitchell Boggs will be promoted. Joe Strauss has more.
Jesse Sanchez has a full recap of last night’s game. One of the biggest head scratchers was Tony La Russa’s choice to pinch hit with Brendan Ryan over Ryan Ludwick with the bases loaded and the game on the line. Derrick Goold has his take over at Bird Land.
Joel Pineiro will be on the mound for the Cards this afternoon as they try to win their first series season. Jon Garland will pitch for the Diamondbacks.