Just like a cool, smooth Marlboro cigarette. Yeahh
Chris Carpenter has not looked particularly sharp through two innings. He's thrown just 17 strikes out of 37 pitches, and he's put six men on base. There's no telling how much worse things might be had Ian Kinsler not gotten himself picked off about two minutes into the game.
But Tony La Russa still has confidence in Carpenter. Or at least more confidence than he has in his long relievers. How do I know this? Because La Russa let Carpenter bat for himself in the bottom of the second.
The half-inning could've been something. Leading off, Rafael Furcal grounded a sharp single back up the middle. But then Skip Schumaker grounded into a first-pitch double play to leave Carpenter's spot with two outs and none on. Carpenter batted, and Carpenter whiffed.
I guess now that I've written this, it wouldn't have made much difference to pinch-hit there. With Adron Chambers replacing Matt Holliday on the roster, La Russa doesn't have a wealth of quality options on his bench, and, again, there were two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the second inning. I guess what I'm really trying to get at here in a wordy and roundabout fashion is that it's sensible to be a little worried about Chris Carpenter, and if you're a Cardinals fan, you should probably hope that La Russa will intervene should Carpenter get into another mess. The whole bullpen is available and there's no game tomorrow or the day after that.
2-2, top three.