Tag Archive | "Simple Answer"

Albert And Carp

When a fan asks a question and we can find time to provide a in depth answer, we jump at the chance here on i70. Such an instance jumped out at me while on Twitter.

Carp and Pujols

Shortly after the game ended Saturday night and the Cardinals had put the finishing touches on a two to one victory over the Florida Marlins, a tweet came across my screen that caught my eye.

I'd like to know how many times Albert has hit a home run and Carp has gotten a win in the same game over the years. Its a lot. #stlcards
@FishSTL
Michael Fisher

Michael, I am glad you asked. It is a valid question and caused a little digging into some stats.

The two superstars of the St. Louis Cardinals have played together in St. Louis since 2004. There have been injuries over that time but when you put two players of their caliber together, you expect some results. Those results are not disappointing.

Chris Carpenter has pitched in 184 Games for the St. Louis Cardinals and according to Baseball-Reference, posts an impressive record. The Cardinals veteran ace has won 91 games as a Cardinal while losing only 41. A 3.09 career earned run average since joining the team, 19 complete games, 8 shutouts, and 276 walks to 1003 strikeouts makes him one of the most dominant pitchers in recent memory for the Cardinals. As dominant as he can be, does it mean that a player like Albert Pujols performs at a higher level for him? Maybe not, but the team certainly benefits when the two are on the same page.

The simple answer here is 47. That would be the number of regular season games that Chris Carpenter has pitched in since joining the Cardinals that Albert Pujols has also hit a home run in. Slightly more than 25% of the time when Carpenter takes the mound, Pujols will leave the yard in the same game. What may be most impressive is a deeper look into the stats.

Albert seems to be on his “A Game” during these 47 games, for sure. Over the course of regular season games that Carpenter pitches and Albert homers, Pujols is hitting .460 with 54 home runs, 86 runs batted in, and 76 runs scored. Carpenter is no slouch, when the Cardinals first baseman puts one over the fences, Carpenter posts a 3.34 earned run average with 260 strikeouts, 31 wins and 5 losses.

The Cardinals as a whole enjoy it when Carpenter is pitching and Albert goes deep, they have won 39 games and only lost 8 when this occurs.

The post-season has only seen this occur twice, though one of them was memorable. Both times that Carpenter has pitched on a day when Albert homered in the post-season, the Cardinals would win. Carpenter would receive the win in the contest with the Padres on October 3, 2006. Perhaps the most memorable post-season game for this to occur would put a win in the Cardinals hands, if not their starting pitcher’s. That game happened on October 17, 2005 when Albert ruined Brad Lidge‘s night in Houston and quieted the home town crowd who thought they were witnessing their team reaching the World Series, just to see that postponed due to a long home run from the Cardinals’ Most Valuable Player.

There were a few notable games that popped up while digging through box scores for the information on the two superstars.

- April 9, 2004 - Carpenter would go six innings, giving up five runs, walking one and striking out three. Albert would hit a solo home run but go on to score three times on one hit and two walks. When the dust settled, the Cardinals would beat the Diamondbacks 13-6 and Chris Carpenter would gain his first victory while wearing the birds on the bat.
- June 14, 2005 - Pujols would hit a two run home run in the contest against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Carpenter would show his old team just how dominant he could be as he posted his first double-digit strikeout total in a game where Pujols would homer, striking out 10 Blue Jays. He would also grab his first shutout and throw his first complete game in such a game.
- June 25, 2005 - It would not take long for Carpenter to repeat that feat and do it one better as the Cardinals played the Pirates in front of the sea of red in Busch Stadium. Carpenter would once again throw a shutout, going the distance and striking out eleven while Pujols would hit a three run shot in the seventh inning of that contest, his 20th of the season.
- September 8, 2005 - The two superstars were well on their way to winning a Cy Young Award and a Most Valuable Player Award in the 2005 season when September rolled around. This time, the Busch fans would witness the first multi-home run game for Albert while Carpenter was on the mound. In addition to seeing Albert leave the yard twice, the fans would also see Carpenter throw seven shut out innings, striking out seven Mets, and winning his 21st game of the year.
- June 4, 2009 - Our final game to point out was one that seen Carpenter go toe-to-toe with Reds hurler Aaron Harang in a pitcher’s duel that would see both starters go the distance for their teams. Carpenter would only surrender one run and Harang would only struggle with one hitter. Albert would hit a two run home run in the bottom of the third and add another run batted in on a double in the sixth giving the Cardinals the only three runs they would get that day. It was the only three runs Carpenter would need.

With two top quality players on the field for their eighth season together, it seems it would do the team a lot of good if they could match up on a few more games down the stretch of the 2011 season.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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GOLF! Why In The Hell Are We Golfing NOW?

The playoffs have started this week but do I get to see the Cardinals play? NO! I do not get to see the Cardinals play unless I am watching a pro-am golf outing for charity. Not making the playoffs was not what this team was made to do. It was not what the future of the farm system was traded for over the last three years. This season was the year that the Cards were to make a run to prove to Sir Albert that he needed to sign that long term discounted deal. This year turned out to be a year where everything we thought we knew was thrown out the window leaving us dazed and more than confused as we sit on our sofas watching that damn pro-am. This team CHOKED.

Before the All-Star Game I would have said that Rasmus and Freese had finally proven themselves as valuable members of the team. Dare I even say a bright spot. I would have also never have thought that Tony LaRussa might not be managing in St.Louis but still be managing. The words “complete rebuild” would have never have been on my tongue. Now, as I sit on my sofa wondering how much a ticket to see Sam Bradford’s 2-2 Rams (who saw that coming) is, I am wondering if it is time to blow it all up and rebuild on the ashes of old.

There is no easy answer as to why this team is teeing up instead of playing in the playoffs and that is why this off-season could be the beginning of a very serious end. Someone has to take the fall for this season. The question is, can one person shoulder all the blame? This team’s epic failure this season can not placed on one person, one event, or even one month. The entire team has to take ownership for their part in this season. The only problem is that one of these men will have to no longer be a part of this team once they finally accept their part of the failure. The last and most important person to finally accept blame is upper management. Everyone from the GM to the owners have to look in the mirror and admit we swung and missed on a bunch of decisions this year before any off-season progress can be made. Once this ownership of failure happens, the team as a whole can begin to answer the question – how do we turn this around?

The simple answer is to fire the manager. This is done every year in baseball. But baseball is probably the only sport where a manager/coach can play little to no role in a great team. Other sports like basketball and football place the play calling and thus the overall flow of the game on that man. Baseball on the other hand allows a manager to sit back most of the game not really making any major game calls. It is this fact that leads me to believe that a changing of the guard in St.Louis will signal a major overhaul of the entire roster. It is hard to say it when you have an All-Star Roster like the Cardinals do but if LaRussa goes, no one is safe. The departure of LaRussa will send rippling changes throughout the entire roster both on the coaching and player side.

Who is dumb enough to take over after LaRussa after 15 years? What coaches would stay on with the team without their long time leader and friend? Where would Tony end up? (Mets/Cubs). No one wants to be the guy that replaces the guy – they want to be the guy that replaced the guy that replaced the guy.

If LaRussa comes back for a 16th season this means that the team will have to make one major move in the off-season. This move will not be a major roster rebuild but could be, and should be, a blockbuster event. LaRussa has to know that a shock to the status quo is needed if he is to return. This move could be as simple as a major spending spree in the offseason or the adding of true winner like a Derek Jeter, but most likely it will mean trading away one of the stars of the pitching staff to bring back that spark that the team has been missing.

The only sure thing is that doing nothing is not an answer if this team wants to be on the field this time next year. Changes are coming fast but two or three bad changes in a row can take this team from a place free agents flock to a place where a bag of money still will not get you a meeting with a Boras client.

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