For those catching up, the idea of Chris Carpenter being one of the premier pitchers in baseball is not a new concept. In 2004, Carpenter joined the Cardinals from Toronto and promptly commenced domination of the National League. During his first three seasons in the ‘Lou, he went 51-18. Carpenter took home Cy Young honors following a 21-5 campaign in 2005 and finished third the following year.
Then, Chris Carpenter disappeared for a bit. Tommy John surgery and a litany of arm-related issues kept the vaunted hurler to four starts over the past two seasons. He went from one of the elite starters in all of baseball to a 34 year-old mystery heading into 2009. An oblique tear earlier this season shelved him for an additional and significant stretch. All of which are reasons you may not have been paying as much attention to him in the NL Central. I’ll admit, I hadn’t been. However, his numbers force you toquickly take notice.
Carpenter is quietly(?) back. And how do you say…he’s not f-in around. Age and surgery be damned, he’s rounded back into form and is back at pre-surgery levels. OK, that’s an outright lie. Carpenter is performing far above even his greatest prior seasons. Consider these numbers…
14: Number of wins in 22 starts. In his last real season (’06), he went 15-8 in 32 starts
1: Carpenter’s ERA rank in the majors. It currently sits at 2.20
0.969: His WHIP. Not. Too. Shabby.
5:1: Nearly the ratio of Carpenter’s strikeouts (115) to walks (25)
There are plenty more stats where that came from, and they are all filthy. And while the buzz seems to be more focused on Greinke, Lincecum and others (albeit, with good reason) Carpenter should be right back in the discussion of the best of the best. After a handful of starts in two years, he has to be in serious contention for the NL Cy Young (with his teammate Adam Wainwright), not to mention that Comeback Player of the Year Award. So, maybe it’s time to show Chris Carpenter a little more love. Ready. Go.
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About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.