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

Carpenter throws most pitches since 1998

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter came into Wednesday with just two wins in 16 starts this season and had been victimized at times by poor bullpen support.

On one hand, with the short-handed pen in flux, one can understand why manager Tony La Russa left his starter in Wednesday night for a season-high 132 pitches in the complete game, 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

On the other hand, Carpenter is being ridden hard. The veteran right-hander has thrown over 120 pitches in each of last three starts. In his entire previous seven years with the Cardinals, he threw that many pitches in a game only four times.

132 pitches is Carpenter’s second-highest pitch count ever, with his career high of 134 achieved during his sophomore season of 1998. Carpenter was 23 years old at the time.

Now 36 years of age, Carpenter has never gone more than three full seasons as a major leaguer without suffering some type of injury. He remained off the disabled list for most of 2009 and all of 2010 when his 35 starts led Major League Baseball.

In his prior life with the Toronto Blue Jays from 1997 through 2002, a much younger Carp threw 120 or more pitches 14 times. With his now seven such starts with the Cardinals, his career total is 21 games of at least 120 pitches.

Interestingly, Wednesday night was the first of Carpenter’s five 125-plus pitch games in which he was the winner.

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf, here are Carpenter’s previous 20 starts in which he threw 120 or more pitches.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF AB
1 6/2/1998 TOR BOS L 3-11 GS-8 ,L 7 8 7 7 2 6 2 134 79 39 33 31
3 8/16/1999 TOR SEA L 5-7 GS-7 ,L 6 7 4 4 9 5 0 131 70 40 34 24
4 7/13/2000 TOR PHI L 5-8 GS-8 ,L 7 10 8 8 2 4 2 129 79 29 34 32
5 8/26/1998 TOR KCR L 2-7 GS-8 ,L 8 11 5 5 0 6 1 126 85 46 34 34
T6 6/23/2011 STL PHI W 12-2 GS-7 ,W 7 5 1 1 1 7 0 124 80 69 27 26
T6 6/17/2011 STL KCR L 4-5 GS-8 ,L 8 10 5 4 1 7 0 124 83 50 36 32
T6 10/6/2001 TOR CLE W 5-2 GS-8 ,W 7 5 2 2 4 8 1 124 82 65 31 27
9 6/14/2000 TOR DET W 8-1 GS-8 ,W 8 9 1 1 6 7 0 123 71 61 38 32
T10 9/26/2006 STL SDP L 5-7 GS-7 ,L 7 12 6 6 2 6 0 122 75 33 34 31
T10 8/26/2004 STL CIN L 0-1 CG 8 ,L 8 3 1 1 1 11 1 122 80 82 28 27
T10 6/9/2001 TOR FLA L 1-6 CG 9 ,L 9 9 6 3 6 5 1 122 73 50 42 33
T10 5/6/2000 TOR CLE L 6-8 GS-8 7 8 6 6 4 7 0 122 70 41 32 28
T10 7/16/1998 TOR CHW W 5-2 GS-8 ,W 8 4 2 2 1 10 0 122 80 75 29 27
T15 6/3/2000 TOR FLA L 1-2 GS-7 7 5 0 0 4 3 0 121 72 66 29 25
T15 5/6/1999 TOR OAK L 2-3 CG 9 ,L 9 6 3 3 1 7 1 121 82 69 33 31
T15 9/1/1998 TOR KCR W 2-1 GS-7 ,W 7 4 1 1 3 6 0 121 76 68 27 23
T18 9/3/2005 STL HOU W 4-2 CG 9 ,W 9 8 2 2 2 8 1 120 78 69 36 33
T18 6/24/2004 STL CHC W 4-0 GS-8 ,W 8 7 0 0 1 9 0 120 82 76 31 30
T18 7/1/2001 TOR BOS L 0-4 GS-8 ,L 7 6 3 3 2 6 2 120 79 59 29 26
T18 5/1/1999 TOR SEA W 9-3 GS-6 ,W 5 9 3 3 4 3 1 120 71 38 29 24

Only time will tell how many more such outings Carpenter has remaining in his talented right arm. While the Cardinals hold an option on his services for 2012, the $15 million price tag may prove prohibitive.

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34 Responses to “Carpenter throws most pitches since 1998”

  1. Kansasbirdman says:

    It’s better than pants dragging. I think they are large/wide stirrups as sometimes I see the white at the bottom. Nothing wrong with rugby socks

  2. Kansasbirdman says:

    I did too :-)

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Colby is already Morphing back………… and it is obvious why RC………… he is late…never gets it there..let alone in time to make a swing plane adjustment………….. do you know what draws him back? I do…….with out a doubt……… and that is a two sided dialog………and this how he is requesting it.

  4. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Theriot looking to show surprising power…………… skip swinging away……… Hamilton……the big cuts…… this is all MM nonsense……….no roll players………and Westbrooke is going to get it handed to him eventually……………. the Yankees would have scored 15 off this guy by now………..

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    This is exaclty the type of game you hand to Lynn……..just give him the ball and tell him to finish it………..whats Tony going to do………..try to match up using the junk………..

  6. crdswmn says:

    Okay now this game is interesting.

  7. Kansasbirdman says:

    Too much cowbell

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Colby gets a little more push and drops the hands……….. a bit earlier….(not soon enough for me)..far enough to drop the hands ………..and kaboom…………

  9. blingboy says:

    I missed all the excitement. A bunch of ejections? Whaaa?

  10. Kansasbirdman says:

    Has there ever been a game where enough field players were ejected that bp guys had to play positions or a team was left short-handed?

  11. crdswmn says:

    Lance Lynn caught the bullpen disease.

  12. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Welcome to the Bigs LL………………. that double by Longoria was a good pitch and a nice swing…… Didn’t like the shake off off Molina and unloading your 96 mph fastball….that only goes 92 today… up and center cut………….. Salas?

  13. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Theriot scales back his awesome power and takes the lowly single…….what a prince. I wish MH would save us this bottom of th 9th with a hit……..

  14. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    That was a good 2 strike adjustment by MH………..he tried to pick up that run……good play by the ss.

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Law and order by Salas………… can’t be patient when he ripping the zone……….that was a good win….

  16. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Good mid game adjustments by Westbrook………. he stopped wasting his time and he got to that critical 7th inning…………. good win for him………..

  17. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/york-times-sells-half-red-sox-stake-204720806.html

    This is one of the ways you handle the finances for a team……….. good old units…..

  18. crdswmn says:

    Pirates lost, Reds lost. Brewers losing but only 3rd inning.

  19. blingboy says:

    Does anybody know if Oquendo sent Freese in the second on Yadi’s floater to center, or did he blow through the sign?

    He’s not exactly fast, but he was pushing it rounding third. Like the play in Springfield when he blew it out.

  20. CariocaCardinal says:

    Pujols still has 3 options remaining.

  21. Brian Walton says:

    As was pointed out to me in an email, in the case if Franklin had been assigned to the minors, he would have been paid even if he declared free agency rather than report.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      This move almost never happens Brian………. there are many surprising factors in this story…..that don’t make very good blog fodder………… the reason that the union has these protective rules……is to prevent abuse……………….. they could just put a player in low A on a bus, just to attempt and invalidate his contract should he not cooperate……….. they did not have options that would have resulted in an invalid contract, should he have chose not to go down………….. if he has tenure, all they can do is release him ………… thats why there is a two year limit I think, on using unrestricted options.

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