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Chris Carpenter

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Christopher John Carpenter (born April 27, 1975 in Exeter, New Hampshire) is a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who has played for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2003, and is currently signed with the team until the 2011 season, with a club option for 2012.[1] Carpenter was 22 years old and a highly-regarded prospect when he broke into the majors in 1997 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He stayed with Toronto until after the 2002 season. He is 6' 6" and weighs 230 pounds.

Playing careerEdit

Minor LeaguesEdit

Carpenter began his pro career with the Medicine Hat Jays of the short-season Pioneer League in 1994. In his debut against the Great Falls Dodgers, he tossed six scoreless innings of one-hit ball, fanning nine along the way. He ended up with a mark of 6-3 and turned in the league’s third-lowest ERA. He was also picked as the Pioneer League’s #3 prospect by league managers, behind Aaron Boone and Ray Brown.

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

Carpenter made his debut as a starter against the Minnesota Twins in May of 1997. After a strong season in 2001, he along with Roy Halladay and Brandon Lyon were considered the starters of the future for the Blue Jays.[2] Carpenter was the opening day starter in 2002, but he underwent a shoulder surgery in September of 2002. Blue Jays removed Carpenter from the 40-men roster and offered a minor-league incentive deal, which he rejected.[3]

St. Louis CardinalsEdit

The Cardinals signed Carpenter prior to the 2003 season. He was forced to sit out the entire 2003 season due to a torn labrum. However, Carpenter came back with an impressive 2004, helping the Cardinals win the National League pennant for the first time since 1987. In September, Carpenter was benched with a nerve problem in his right biceps, ending his season and causing him to miss the 2004 World Series.

In 2005, Carpenter posted his best year to date. He set career bests in ERA (2.83), strikeouts (213), innings pitched (241.7), complete games (7) and shutouts (4) while amassing a 21-5 record for the Division Champion Cardinals. While not a leader in any one statistical category in 2005, he was selected over Dontrelle Willis as the National League Cy Young Award winner. He also was selected as the starter for the National League in the 2005 All Star game.

This time, Carpenter was healthy for the post-season. Although the Cardinals lost to the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series, he pitched well throughout the postseason, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings against the San Diego Padres and Houston.

Carpenter continued pitching well throughout the 2006 season, achieving career feats such as striking out a career high 13 batters on June 13, 2006 against the Pittsburgh Pirates[4]and winning his 100th career game on September 16, 2006 beating the San Francisco Giants 6-1.[5] Carpenter became the third member of the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff to get his 100th career win in 2006, after Jeff Suppan and Mark Mulder. Carpenter was also voted on the 2006 All-Star game, and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting behind Brandon Webb and Trevor Hoffman.[6]

Carpenter won his first career World Series start in Game 3 against the Detroit Tigers on October 24, 2006 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri by pitching eight innings and allowing no runs on three hits. In eight career post-season starts, he has a 5-1 record with a 2.53 ERA in 53.3 innings.

On December 4 2006 the Cardinals announced they had re-signed Carpenter to a five-year, $65 million deal, keeping Carpenter with the team through 2011, with a $12 million option for 2012.[7]

In 2007, Carpenter pitched only one game. After an opening day (April 1) loss to the New York Mets, Carpenter was sidelined with elbow problems and the team announced on May 5 2007 that he would need Tommy John Surgery and another surgery to trim bone spurs. As Carpenter was attempting to return from elbow surgery, further problems developed and on July 19 2007 the Cardinals announced that his season was over.

On July 30, 2008, Carpenter made his first Major League start since Opening Day 2007, 486 days, against the Atlanta Braves. He lasted four innings, gave up one run on five hits (all singles), walking two and striking out two, on 67 pitches (36 strikes).[8] Though Carpenter got the no decision, the Cardinals went on to win the game 7-2.

After making only one start in 2007, and only three starts in the 2008 season, Carpenter gave a stunning one-hit performance in his first start of the 2009 season against Pittsburgh, shutting them out in seven innings, walking two while striking out seven at Busch Stadium. He faced only 26 batters, five over the minimum, and threw 92 pitches--61 for strikes.[9] It was his 101st career win, against only 70 losses (.591 win pct.).

Pitching against Arizona on April 14, 2009, he strained his left rib-cage after batting in the top of the fourth inning, had to be taken out of the game after trying to pitch in the bottom half, and may have to be placed on the disabled list.[10]

He was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 15, and the initial estimate is for him to be out from four to eight weeks pending an MRI and evaluation the next day.[11]

An MRI exam on April 16th revealed an oblique tear on his left side, confirming he will be out anywhere from four to eight weeks.[12]

On May 20, Carpenter returned after missing a month. He pitched five shutout innings giving up only three hits, walking two, and striking out five. He threw only 67 pitches, 41 for strikes. The Cards won the pitching duel with the Cubs, 2-1.[13] [14] With his win, Carpenter became the win percentage leader after 100 starts as a Cardinal with a 53-20 (.726) record, and boasts a 3.04 ERA (230 ER in 680.2 IP). John Tudor was the previous win percentage leader after 100 starts (49-21 .700) as a Cardinal. Carpenter's four strikeouts gave him 571 in his 100th start, one less than Bob Gibson had in his first 100 starts.[15] [16]

On June 4, he threw his 26th career complete game, and lowered his ERA for the season to 0.71 in his first six starts of the season. That is the lowest for any Cardinals' pitcher in their first six starts, breaking Harry Brecheen's mark of 0.75 set in 1948.[17]

Pitching style Edit

Carpenter is known to have five quality pitches and throws two and four-seam fastballs in the 90-93 mph range consistently. He is known to have one of the better curveballs in baseball and has excellent command over his cutter and circle-change up.[18] He is known as being unpredictable to opposing batters in his pitching pattern, as he will throw any of his pitches at any time.

Personal lifeEdit

As of 2005, Carpenter resides in Bedford, New Hampshire with his wife Alyson, son Sam, and daughter Ava.

Honors Edit

Career statisticsEdit

YearAgeTeamLgWLGGSCGSHOGFSVIPHRERHRBBSOHBPWPBFPIWBkERAlgERAERA+WHIP>O-AVE
199722TorontoAL 3 7 14 13 1 1 1 0 81.3 108 55 46 7 37 55 2 7 374 0 1 5.09 4.53 89 1.783 .325
199823TorontoAL 12 7 33 24 1 1 4 0 175.0 177 97 85 18 61 136 5 5 742 1 0 4.37 4.61 105 1.360 .265
199924TorontoAL 9 8 24 24 4 1 0 0 150.0 177 81 73 16 48 106 3 9 663 1 1 4.38 4.92 112 1.500 .294
200025TorontoAL 10 12 34 27 2 0 1 0 175.3 204 130 122 30 83 113 5 3 795 1 0 6.26 5.07 81 1.637 .290
200126TorontoAL 11 11 34 34 3 2 0 0 215.7 229 112 98 29 75 157 16 5 930 5 0 4.09 4.62 113 1.410 .274
200227TorontoAL 4 5 13 13 1 0 0 0 73.3 89 45 43 11 27 45 4 3 327 0 0 5.28 4.65 88 1.582 .306
200429St. LouisNL 15 5 28 28 1 0 0 0 182.0 169 75 70 24 38 152 8 4 746 2 0 3.46 4.27 123 1.137 .245
200530St. LouisNL--CYA 21 5 33 33 7 4 0 0 241.7 204 82 76 18 51 213 3 5 953 0 0 2.83 4.23 149 1.055 .231
200631St. LouisNL 15 8 32 32 5 3 0 0 221.7 194 81 76 21 43 184 10 3 896 3 0 3.09 4.45 144 1.069 .235
200732St. LouisNL 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0   6.0   9   5   5   0   1   3 1 0 29 0 0 7.50 4.39 59 1.667 .346
200833St. LouisNL 0 1 4 3 0 0 0 0 15.3 16   5   3   0   4   7 0 0 63 0 0 1.76 4.25 242 1.304 .286
200934St. LouisNL 5 2 10 10 1 0 0 0 65.2 37 14 13   3   9 48 2 0 240 0 0 1.78 4.27 240 0.700 .162
Totals: 105 72 260 242 26 12 6 0 1,603.0 1,613 782 710 177 477 1,219 58 44 6,758 13 2 3.99 4.56 114 1.304 .263

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through June 25, 2009.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Yahoo! Sports, Carpenter and Cardinals agree to new five-year contract. Golen, Jimmy
  2. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2002/02/20/fletcher020219.html
  3. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-70310176.html
  4. Notes on Carpenter's 13K game
  5. Box Score of Carpenter's 100th victory
  6. Diamondbacks' Webb Wins N.L. Cy Young Award
  7. Cards reward Carpenter with $65M extension
  8. Carpenter solid in season debut: Ace righty thrilled to be back on hill after 16 months away
  9. Vintage Carpenter emerges in victory: Starter takes no-hit bid into seventh; Molina, Barden do rest
  10. Carpenter out with left rib-cage strain: Righty to be evaluated Thursday, might go on DL. MLB.com (2009-04-15).
  11. Cardinals place Carpenter on DL: Rib-cage strain sidelines hard-luck ace four to eight weeks. MLB.com (2009-04-15).
  12. MRI confirms oblique tear for Carpenter: Time-table remains four to eight weeks; rehab next week.. MLB.com (2009-04-16). Retrieved on 2009-04-17.
  13. Welcome back, Carp
  14. Carpenter makes triumphant return: Cards ace blanks Cubs through five, earns second win. MLB.com (2009-05-21). Retrieved on 2009-05-23.
  15. St. Louis Cardinals GAME NOTES (PDF). MLB.com (2009-05-20). Retrieved on 2009-05-23.
  16. St. Louis Cardinals GAME NOTES (PDF). MLB.com (2009-05-21). Retrieved on 2009-05-23.
  17. St. Louis Cardinals GAME NOTES (PDF). MLB.com (2009-06-05). Retrieved on 2009-06-07.
  18. Carpenter's scouting report
  19. Chris Carpenter Statistics. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved on 2009-06-25.

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Javy López
NL Comeback Player of the Year
2004
Succeeded by:
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Preceded by:
Roger Clemens
National League Cy Young Award
2005
Succeeded by:
Brandon Webb

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