We know very well how much of a bad-ass Chris is — his pending comeback minus one rib is just the latest example — but Matt Carpenter is showing his true character as well. And, in case there was ever any question, Matt bleeds red.
Yes, Matty Carp has shed some blood over the past two games. Yet the pain from yesterday’s mishap, which occurred on his game-winning slide into home that’s pictured at right, probably hurts less than Saturday night’s accident.
Winning cures all, right?
The Cardinals did win yesterday, 5-4 in 10 innings over the Brewers to take the final game of the series. The first two games were frustrating losses, with missed opportunities and runners once again left-on-base aplenty. That’s why it was so great to see the Cardinals come out slugging on Sunday. Jon Jay led off the game for the Cards with a single and scored moments later on a Matt Holliday homer. Then, for the first time since Aug. 10, Carlos Beltran homered.
Joe Kelly gave a run back to the Brewers in the top of the second, after Corey Hart scored on a wild pitch. But our Baby Giraffe made up for that himself in the bottom of the second by doubling and then scoring on a Matty Carp double. (Plus Joe successfully ran the bases without falling down!)
The Brewers scored again in the fourth, as the Brewers singled three times in the inning, but the score remained 4-2 going into the top of the ninth.
Kelly had a solid outing, allowing those two runs on five hits while striking out five. It was my first chance to see him pitch in person since 2010, when he was a Quad Cities River Bandit pitching at Modern Woodmen Park. Bigger circumstances, bigger ballpark obviously. In fact, had I tried in 2010 to watch him from the perspective I had yesterday in the right field corner, I would have been in the Mississippi River.
Edward Mujica — who was among the few participating in High Sock Sunday — did his usual thing, although he allowed one hit while striking out one in the seventh. Mitchell Boggs got back on track, thankfully, walking one but retiring the side in the eighth.
Then there was the ninth, where Jason Motte did not do his usual thing. In fact, he allowed a double and then a game-tying homer to Norichika Aoki.
Lance Lynn came on to pitch the 10th, to a mix of both dread and encouragement from those of us at blogger day. Yet he was successful, allowing a single but getting out of the inning unscathed. Which just set up the chance for the bottom of the 10th dramatics.
With one out, Matty Carp singled. And, back to him being a BAMF, here’s a description of what happened Saturday night: “Carpenter left the game after shards of his splintered bat ripped open both hands, causing profuse bleeding.” Yes, the perils — obviously — of not wearing batting gloves. Yet he didn’t wear them yesterday either. No, instead he had them repaired with medical glue and said this:
“I’m just going to play through it,” Carpenter said. “It’s a little sore. I have five cuts. But it’s nothing bad enough to keep me out.”
Of course not! So he singled in the 10th and moved up on a wild pitch. That put him in perfect position to make an incredible slide when Allen Craig singled to right and score the walk-off run — check it out here. Yet it also caused even more wounds:
“I got some new blood from that,” he said, holding up his right wrist, which had a quarter-sized blotch of red where his arm scraped the dirt around home plate. Unmentioned was a similar patch of red under his left knee, with some skin still hanging off it.
And Jenifer Langosch said that new hand wound was still bleeding 20 minutes after the game.
But that’s nothing for a BAMF, right? Whatever it takes to win …
The victory keeps the Cards still in position for the second wild card spot, with the Dodgers 1 1/2 games back and the Pirates now 2 1/2 back after being swept by the Cubs this weekend.
Tonight the Cardinals take on the Padres starting at 9:05 p.m. Central Time. San Diego has won 6 of their last 10 games, and Chase Headley has been ridiculously hot. He’s now leading the National League in RBI with 102.