The great thing about Chris Carpenter is that even when he is bad, he's good.
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Carpenter obviously didn't have his best stuff Monday against the Dodgers. But he didn't let that get in the way of having a dominating performance. He gave up several hits and was in trouble often. But the Cardinals ace never gave in and led his team to a 6-1 win over the very good Dodgers of Los Angeles.
Four double plays extinguished Dodgers rallies. In fact, the only run the Bums scored came on a missed grounder at third followed by a passed ball that allowed the baserunner to get to third and score on a sacrifice fly.
Matt Holliday got the expected warm welcome from Cardinals fans and immediately returned the favor with an RBI double to give the Birds the lead in the first. But it was Rick Ankiel, who was 2-for-4 and Brendan Ryan, who was 4-for-4, who paced the offense.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Ryan, with a tip of the hat to Ryan Ludwick who made two fantastic catches to stop a Dodger rally singlehandedly.
Lowlight: The umpiring was absolutely terrible. The home plate umpire was squeezing the strike zone and the first base umpire horribly blew a tag play at first base, then tried to bait Carpenter into getting himself thrown out by staring him down as he walked to the dugout. Classy.