Eye of the Hurricane

April 17, 2009

Poor Chris Carpenter

Filed under: Uncategorized — dvillavicencio @ 2:35 pm

It’s no secret that I’m a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. I can usually be seen with a Cards shirt or cap and am proud to display the team colors. I just feel the need to vent a bit about Chris Carpenter.

Carp is the ace of the staff and one of the best pitchers in baseball when healthy. Unfortunately, the healthy part has been tough to maintain lately.

He won the Cy Young in 2005 and finished third in 2006 while helping lead his team to their 10th World Series title.

Since then, it has been a string of arm injuries for the talented right-hander.

Carp has started six games since 2006.

That’s not a typo.

SIX.

He suffered setback after setback in his rehab over the past few years and Cardinals fans wondered if he would ever be right again.

Then came this spring and Carp was back. He was dominant again and looked like the Cy Young candidate everyone was used to seeing. He was brilliant in his first start of ’09. He baffled Pirates hitters as he threw seven innings of one-hit ball.

Carp was throwing well again in his second outing. This time it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who couldn’t figure out the talented veteran. Then it all came crumbling down. Carpenter hurt his rib cage swinging in his second at-bat of the game. The inning-ending grounder to third would hurt much more than anyone anticipated.

Carp went out to warm up before the start of the bottom of the fourth when he felt the pain in his ribs. He tried to throw through it but the pain worsened with each throw. He left the game pointing at his side but most Cardinals fans, myself included, figured it was just a precautionary measure.

Later in the game, we hear he strained his ribs. Everyone in Cardinal Nation let out a collective sign of relief. At least it’s not his arm.

I know my Dad and I both thought he would miss a start or two at the most and then be back on the hill.

Then came the terrible news.

Carp underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury and it showed a torn oblique.

Another DL stint was in order and Carp would miss the next 4-8 weeks.

What will the Cardinals do without him?

Well, I’m watching them take on the hated Chicago Cubs and the Redbirds took a 4-3 lead in the top of the third against Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano.

Apparently, P.J. Walters, Mitchell Boggs, and whoever else the team calls up over the next few weeks will have to hold down the fort until the ace comes back.

Walters got in trouble early, allowing three runs over the first two innings but appeared to settle in afterwards while Big Z fell apart right as the rookie right-hander seemed to figure it out.

Hopefully the Cardinals can finish off this win and stay competitive over the next few weeks.

Do you think they can get by without Carpenter?

I’m not sure, but I do know two things.

The team needs the young guys to get to work and Carpenter to get well soon.

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