Carp Comes Back In a Big Way

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click to enlarge Carp Comes Back In a Big Way
One start isn't really enough to make any determinations about a player's overall health, you know. We can't just look at this one game and conclude Chris Carpenter is just fine and ready to dominate in the second half of the season. 

That being said, Chris Carpenter is back, ladies and gentlemen. He's back, and all is well, and all will be well, and this whole division thing is now in the bag. Carpenter will lead us all to the promised land.

I wrote yesterday about Carpenter's health being one of the five biggest keys to the rest of the Cardinals' season, and what we all saw him do last night against a very good Dodger lineup was nothing short of remarkable. At the very least, I think we can conclude that if Carpenter is going to have health problems this season, it probably won't have anything to do with the forearm.

He wasn't perfect; besides the fastball Andre Ethier hit out there were two or three other fastballs which caught too much of the plate and very well could have turned into damage, but the Dodger hitters juuuust missed them. The curveball, on the other hand, was as good as we've seen this season from Carpenter, and his cutter was was absolutely the best it's been all year. Several times against right-handed hitters Carpenter threw one of those cutters that make you say, "No one, on any day, could have hit that pitch." 

If Duncan and Carpenter have really found an adjustment for him to make, and that's the Chris Carpenter we see the rest of the season, I think we can check off point #1 on my list pretty easily. 

-- Kudos to Fox Sports for naming Allen Craig their player of the game even though he didn't get a hit. He collected the first and second RBI of his major league career, played a solid right field while he was in the game, and it was nice to see him get out there and get some recognition. Sure, Chris Carpenter was the real player of the game, if you want to look for the player who made the biggest difference, but Carp has had his accolades. Giving Craig a bit of spotlight was a classy move, and great to see for a guy who was more than a little snakebitten his first time up with the club. 

-- Mitchell Boggs looked unreal last night. He hit 99 on the gun and just absolutely overpowered the hitters he faced. Honestly, I was a little surprised Tony La Russa went to Boggs in such a lopsided game; I sort of expected him to go with Evan MacLane for mopup duty or maybe Dennys Reyes just to get him some more work in a game he couldn't do too much damage in. (Then again, the Rockies scored, what, nine? Maybe it was a good idea to use Boggs after all...) 

When Boggs first came up, I really liked him, even though he was incredibly inconsistent, and I thought he would make a very nice #4 starter in a couple years. After seeing what his results have been in the bullpen, though, I honestly don't ever want to see him in the rotation again. His stuff plays up in relief as much as any pitcher I've ever seen, and he's much, much more aggressive in attacking the zone. Mitchell Boggs is a reliever, and one hell of a reliever at that. Motte gets the attention for his fastball, but honestly, I think Boggs' heater just might be the best on the team. 

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