Friday, April 10, 2009

Chris Carpenter: The Ace is Back

Dominant. In control. Outstanding.

All of these words come to mind when describing Chris Carpenter's outing against the Pirates last night. Carpenter gave up only 1 hit and 1 unearned run over 7 dominant innings as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 2-1.

St. Louis Cardinals
C Carpenter (W, 1-0)7.011027092-610.00
R Franklin (H, 1)1.000001015-110.00
D Reyes (S, 1)1.000000011-60.00

Even though Carpenter was facing the lowly Pirates, this performance still has to be awfully encouraging for the Cardinals and their fans. Carpenter has missed most of the past two seasons with arm injuries, so it has been a long time since the Cardinals have had their ace fully healthy and productive.

Most importantly, Carpenter appears to finally be fully healthy.

"It was fun to get out there and pitch, compete in a real game and give my team a chance to win," Carpenter said. "This was the first time in a long time I felt as good as I do now."
Music to Cardinals fans' ears.

If the Cardinals are going to compete for a playoff spot this season, they need Carpenter to be healthy and productive. The Cardinals starting rotation suddenly becomes very formidable with the addition of Carpenter. Kyle Lohse and Adam Wainwright make a solid 2-3 punch and Todd Wellemeyer and Joel Pineiro are a solid duo in the backend of the rotation. It would not shock me to see the Cardinals playing meaningful September baseball if Carpenter can stay healthy.

(photo: AP)

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