For months, Chicago Cubs fans could soothe themselves with the belief that there was no way the St. Louis Cardinals could be good this year. After all, their rotation looked like a pile of garbage.
Well, unless Chris Carpenter came back healthy and effective. But come on, his arm has been cut more times than an angsty teenager. There’s no way he could ever be the same again, right?
Chris Carpenter took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Thursday, allowing just one unearned run over seven frames as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 2-1.
A very encouraging regular-season debut for Carpenter, who posted a 1.52 ERA in spring training. He fanned seven batters while allowing two walks in seven innings of work, and didn’t surrender a hit until Ramon Vazquez singled to center with two outs in the seventh. Carpenter used 92 pitches over the seven frames, and Vazquez’s hit prevented Tony La Russa from having to make a tough decision since the team wanted to be cautious with Carpenter’s pitch count. Rotoworld.
Grumble. We should have expected this.
A healthy and effective Carpenter and Adam Wainwright make the Cardinals a relatively formidable presence in the NL Central, at least the equal of the Brewers.