I wonder if Chris Carpenter will be punished when it comes to All-Star Game and Cy Young consideration for his early season stint on the disabled list.
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Of course, it is assuming a lot to believe that Carp will be healthy from here on out. But, when he is healthy, it's pretty hard to believe the guy isn't the best pitcher in baseball.
Carpenters numbers are ridiculous and bordering on Gibsonion through five starts.
With a 4-0 record and a 0.71 ERA in 38 innings pitched, Carp has allowed a total of 19 hits and five walks. Meanwhile, he has 31 strikeouts and has allowed one home run in 136 batters faced so far this season. That works out to 0.2 homers allowed per nine innings pitched. Five games is a relatively limited sample, statistically speaking. But he has been so great that if you mixed five average starts in with his numbers to catch him up with the rest of the pack, Carpenter's stats would still be terrific.
The beauty of his complete game win Thursday night is that it is obvious Carpenter is finally right. You can see in his body language that he is supremely confident in his arm and his stuff. And watching Carpenter pitch in his prime is truly as great as watching Albert Pujols hit in his.
Personally, I think it would really be tough for Carpenter to beat Johann Santana (7-3, 2.00) because east coast writers would find the Cardinals hurler's DL stay an easy excuse to disqualify him. To have a chance, Carpenter would have to remain healthy the rest of the year and maintain vastly superior numbers.
But it would sure be nice to see Carpenter make an All-Star appearance in St. Louis after living through two years of torture.