In Thursday night's Game 6, Ron Washington caught some flak when he allowed Colby Lewis to bat for himself with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning of a one-run game. Lewis struck out and looked bad.
Well, in the bottom of the fourth on Friday, Tony La Russa wound up in a similar situation. I'll explain. With one out, Yadier Molina grounded a single back up the middle. Rafael Furcal followed with a line drive single to right to put two runners aboard with one down.
Skip Schumaker then shattered his bat on a pitch and grounded out to first, but both runners moved up. That brought Carpenter to the plate with a pair of runners in scoring position.
What do you do here? On the one hand, Carpenter had already thrown 63 pitches, he's working on short rest, and the bullpen's fully available. On the other, Carpenter looked much better in the third and fourth innings than he did in the first two, and La Russa doesn't exactly have any huge weapons on his bench with Allen Craig starting due to Matt Holliday's injury.
La Russa opted to let Carpenter bat. Carpenter lifted a lazy fly out to end the inning. The score's still 3-2 St. Louis going into the fifth, and now Carpenter will need to justify La Russa's decision.