St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, long the workhorse of the team, has officially given up his fight against the thoracic outlet syndrome that has plagued him for the last two years and will retire.
Carpenter has admitted that he had often felt numbness in his right arm over the last four years that he has pitched, but it intensified dramatically after the heavy workload of the 2011 regular season and playoffs. He had surgery to remove a rib in an attempt to relieve the symptoms in July 2012. He returned at the end of the regular season, but it was the beginning of the end of his pitching career.
Although he helped the Cardinals win two World Series, Carpenter’s performance in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS vs. the Philadelphia Phillies was probably his most memorable. It was a classic pitcher’s duel against his former Toronto Blue Jays teammate Roy Halladay. The Cardinals scored one run in the top of the first inning, and that was all Carpenter needed as he threw 110 pitches for a complete-game shutout.
Cardinals fans will never forget Carpenter diving into first base to get the second out in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series vs. the Texas Rangers. Albert Pujols‘ bad throw could’ve cost the Cardinals, but Carpenter wasn’t about to let that happen. He went on to win that game, and also Game 7 of the series.
Carpenter has been in the dugout off and on over the past two years, passing on the torch of toughness and competitiveness to Adam Wainwright and the stable of young Cardinals pitchers. The Cardinals and their fans hope he will return to the organization in some capacity sometime in the future.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.