Return of the Carp
Most MLB teams do all that they can to address issues with their rosters before the trade deadline. Even after the September call up period, there is a point where major league rosters “are what they are.” Rarely does a high-impact player join a squad after that period. Luckily for the St. Louis Cardinals, that is exactly what is about to happen...
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter will be making his 2012 season debut on Friday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. He will roll into Wrigley with an 11-6 career record against the Cubs. This will be Carpenter’s first start since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, and it comes at a time when the Cardinals need him the most.
This is huge news for the Cardinals, and it is hard to put Carpenter’s worth to the team into words. However, here are the main reasons why I think that Carp’s return could help propel the Cardinals to the playoffs:
1. Heart & Soul
Carpenter has been one of the cornerstones of the franchise for many years. His presence, competitiveness and intensity are what drive the clubhouse. Now more than ever, he is the heart and soul of the Cardinals.
2. Big Game Experience It seems that Carpenter has been the go-to pitcher for many of the Cardinals big games over the past few seasons. Carpenter’s postseason record with the club is 9-2; to include a 3-0 record in the World Series. He could get another big game chance in two weeks. It has even been rumored that Carpenter could get the Wild Card game start (if the Cards make it to that point). His big game experience could be integral to keeping the dream of #12in12 alive.
3. Every Game Counts
All of the Cardinals’ remaining 12 games (3 @ CHC, 3 @HOU, 3 vs. WSH, & 3 vs. CIN) are incredibly important. The Cardinals hold a slim lead over the competition for the second Wild Card spot, and they will need clutch performances from the entire roster to traverse the remaining schedule. If all goes to plan, Carpenter could start in three of the Cardinals’ remaining 12 games. If he is the Carp of old, that will be great news for Cardinals fans.
Be sure to keep checking back to MLBFanCave.com as we all make the Postseason push.