Good Carpenter work
ST. LOUIS - Chris Carpenter did it on the mound and did it in the field last night.
And it’s what his Cardinals teammates expect from the New Hampshire native, who won Game 1 of the World Series, 3-2, over the Rangers at Busch Stadium with six strong innings.
Carpenter, who broke the Cardinals record for postseason wins with eight, surpassing Bob Gibson, excelled in the cold, wet conditions, the type he grew up pitching in.
“One thing that I thought was the balls were a little slick with the breeze and the lack of humidity,’’ Carpenter said. “Besides that, it’s another game. I grew up pitching in weather like this so it was no big deal. Try to make pitches and let your guys do what they need to do.’’
In the first inning, Elvis Andrus hit a ball to Albert Pujols at first. Pujols led the covering Carpenter a bit too far, but the pitcher dove like a wide receiver for a sideline pass, caught the ball, and tagged the bag.
“That ball in the first, I think we need to work on that in spring training. But it was just instinct. He threw the ball, it was a little bit out of my reach, and I dove. I was like, ‘I’m going to get it.’ ’’
Carpenter had treatment on his elbow between the NLCS and World Series, but deemed himself ready and he seemed just that, allowing five hits and two runs over six innings.
“Well, he’s our guy,’’ said Lance Berkman. “When he takes the mound, we feel like we’re going to win the game every time. You have confidence when he takes the mound already and then the job he’s done in the postseason has built that confidence and you certainly want to win the games your ace pitches.’’
Texas manager Ron Washington was questioned on a couple of his moves, including pinch hitting Craig Gentry for David Murphy and then pinch hitting Esteban German in the seventh against Cardinals lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Rzepczynski struck out Gentry and German to wiggle out of a two-on jam. “In German’s case, he’s a contact hitter, and I thought he could handle Rzepczynski’s offspeed stuff,’’ said Washington. “He beat us.’’ Asked why he didn’t use Yorvit Torrealba instead of German, Washington said, “Can you guarantee me that if I use Torrealba that he would have done anything different? I used the guy I thought could get the base hit.’’ . . . The Rangers’ starters have gone fewer than six innings in all 11 of their postseason games . . . Cardinals closer Jason Motte has allowed just one hit and has struck out seven in eight appearances in the postseason.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.