St Louis Cardinals‘ pitcher Chris Carpenter threw off the Busch Stadium mound today in the home white uniform for perhaps the last time. It was a ceremonial first pitch to honor their winningest postseason pitcher — and how Cardinals fans must have wished he could have been the starter for the game instead.
Carpenter has battled injury throughout his 15-year career. His almost 2-year struggle against thoracic outlet syndrome may spell the end, though you should never count him out. He came back last year after having a rib removed to pitch three games in the postseason, one of which he won.
There was some hope that he could come back again this year, but it just wasn’t to be. Carpenter has been with the team in the dugout lately, and the Cardinals can use his presence there, if not on the field. Who can forget Carpenter in the dugout during Game 5 of the NLDS last year, cheering and encouraging his teammates on to their comeback victory?
According to reports, Carpenter has spent time this season with Lance Lynn. Not enough, apparently. Lynn is the Cardinals’ Hamlet-like starter who cannot decide whether to be or not to be a good pitcher. It’s too bad Carpenter couldn’t do a Vulcan mind meld, and instill some of his mental toughness into Lynn.
Carpenter will do his part to help this Cardinals team go as far as possible, just as he has always done. It was fitting that they honored him before what could be their last home game together.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.