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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Carpenter and Pujols need to party like it is 2005

The difficult season being endured by the long-standing stars of the St. Louis Cardinals continued Friday night as the home club lost to the Kansas City Royals. It was St. Louis’ seventh consecutive defeat.

Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter is now 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA in his 15 starts this season. Despite fanning seven and walking just one, Carp allowed 10 singles and lost the 5-4 game on Friday.

Gold Glove first baseman Albert Pujols committed a fielding error that allowed the winning run to score in Friday’s eighth inning. It was his fourth error in three games, though the other three were at third base. Much has been written about Pujols’ hitting this season as he is batting an uncharacteristic .271.

The fact the Cardinals have played so well despite these two having a subpar season is remarkable. Yet for the team to pull it together down the stretch, they need more from both the 36-year-old Carpenter and Pujols, 31.

Just six years ago, the two were en route to a sweep of the top pitcher and player awards in the National League. In 2005, Carpenter took his only National League Cy Young Award while Pujols won his first of three NL Most Valuable Player Awards.

Starting on June 18, 2005 through the end of that season, here are the numbers the two posted.

2005 from June 18 through end of regular season

Starts CG Shut Outs W-L ERA
Carpenter 19 5 2 12-1 2.61
Pujols 0.332 0.444 0.632 23 65

Obviously, the two now have many more miles on their frames, but if they could approach that kind of productivity, think of the benefit to their team. With neither under contract for next season, now is the time to help secure their personal futures as well.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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