History is on the side of Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night in Pittsburgh.
Having just witnessed the St. Louis Cardinals’ four-game series in Philadelphia, I understand the problems with the offense. They went 4-for-35 with runners in scoring position over the four games, the final three defeats. But the Phillies missed Chris Carpenter.
Friday offers a new series in a new city against an old foe, the Pittsburgh Pirates, coming off a sweep of the Chicago Cubs. With Carpenter, 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA, taking the mound in Game 1, the Cardinals, who could really use a win, should get one.
Here are six reasons for my optimism:
1) He is a fast starter.
Carpenter is 7-0 in April and May over the last two years.
2) He has momentum.
In his last start, Carpenter worked seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball, fanning eight Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He is tied for fourth in the National League in wins and seventh in the League with 39 strikeouts.
3) He owns the National League Central.
Carpenter is 13-0 against NL Central opponents the last two years.
4) He is on a streak against the Bucs.
Carpenter last faced the Pirates on August 7 of last season, when he registered his 10th consecutive win over Pittsburgh.
5) He has owned the Pirates like no other club.
Carpenter is a career 11-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 13 career starts vs. Pittsburgh, his most wins against any opponent.
6) He pitches well in Pittsburgh.
Carpenter is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA in seven career starts at PNC Park.