Chris Carpenter looks back while the homerun he just gave up to Pirates second baseman Neil Walker flies over the fence. He is taken out of the game, which would eventually end 7-0.
These are tough times for Cards fans to be sure. After all, their team is over 10 games out and recently has played with questionable effort. But some of the backlash Carp got after his five inning, six run outing was completely uncalled for, regardless of how their team as a whole is doing. Some in Cardinal Nation, both the usual brilliant philosophers and fans who can actually think, were drilling Carp, even saying that they hated the idea of having him back after this season. What?
He had a rough start to the year that consisted of either bad pitching on his part or bad backup on the part of his offense, but he righted the ship and has been amazing of late–minus Saturday’s start, of course.
Bottom line, he’s the best pitcher on the team this year. Sure, that doesn’t mean a whole lot this year, but let’s take a step back. Next year’s rotation will read like this:
Waino will most likely be a beast, Jaime can be great but has to pick it up after this season, Lohse could be good but may continue to stink, and Westbrook will most likely stink or be par at best. The next person can either be Kyle McClellan, Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, a free agent, a minor-leaguer, or Carp. With a pretty suspect rotation that won’t be as lucky with injuries, don’t you want the second-best pitcher on the team?
You can make the argument that $15 million is too much, especially with all the players that need to be re-upped this offseason. But besides all of that, Carp doesn’t deserve to get smacked around by an ever-corroding fan base that, I believe, has been weakened by social media.
He has become one of the best Cards pitchers ever and there’s no denying he has more fire than any guy out there–a common complaint that ‘fans’ file against every other player on the team at some point. It’s possible he’s approaching the horizon year of being a dominant starter, but don’t give him the Derek Jeter treatment and act like he’s dirt after all he’s done for your team. Instead, enjoy him while you can.
He may only have five starts left.
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