Note of the night/Stat of the Day, June 17

Note of the night:

I hesitate to make too much of good guy/bad guy, leader, set-an-example stuff. I think those of us who do what I do tend to use that stuff as a crutch far too often, and we write it in retrospect, using it to explain things rather than noting it in advance and getting any kind of predictive value.

It’s with that preface that I point this out.

I was really struck by how Chris Carpenter answered a question tonight about the error charged to Pujols. He was asked if he’d be happy taking his chances with that ball being hit to that spot again, and of course he said yes. But he really went further than that in talking about the expectations placed on Pujols.

“That ball was hit good.”

(you have no problem taking your chances with that ball being hit to him) “Not at all. He makes that play all kinds of different times. What’s come to be expected of him at times is… tough for him. I don’t know how to put it, but the expectation level is above all the rest.

“Is that ball a hit? Probably. That ball is hit hard. Takes a funny hop. But in the past, he’s so exceptional at what he does, they probably look at it like he should make that play. It’s a hit, to me.”

I dunno. Maybe not earth-shattering. But in being there, it was clear to me that it was important to Carpenter to make this point. It wasn’t just boilerplate, I’m not going to blame my teammate and be the bad guy stuff. It was a sincere point that he wanted to make sure got made.

Stat of the day: Carpenter’s strikeout to unintentional walk ratio is significantly better than it was last year. He has 78 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings, a higher K rate than he had last year. He has 21 unintentional walks, a lower BB rate than he had last year. So his K/UIBB ratio is 3.71. Last year it was 3.03.

You want a reason to feel good about Carpenter going forward? That’s it. Guys with those kinds of peripherals get sorted out. He’s going to be fine. Heck, he was more than fine on Friday night. He was outstanding and unlucky.

And, finally, a late-night playlist:

Foster the People, “Pumped Up Kicks” (love this tune)
Foo Fighters, “Rope”
Freelance Whales, “Hannah”
Awolnation, “Sail”
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, “Belong”

-M.

3 Comments

I agree with you pretty much 100% but can tell you that from a general fan perspective (at least the fans that I talk with regularly) the “bad luck” thing with Carpenter is getting old….I hear a lot of people comparing it to the Garrett Stephenson days when he never really lost a game but never did get any breaks…Now it’s not Carpenter talking about the bad luck it is more us media types but a number of fans are tired of hearing about and just want some results…Carp was terrific with the media tonight especially considering that a lot of the stuff we want to ask is a re-hash of most of his outings this year…He is indeed a professional and I do agree he will be just fine.

I think Carpenter could be an outstanding closer for the rest of his career. As a starter he’s just not winning, and he has closer-type stuff. With Salas and Carp at the back end of the pen we would be in great shape. Anyone can come up and be a No. 5 starter. imho

Carpenter has been hit a lot more this year though. His BA against is 286, and a 755 OPS against and in high leverage situations, he’s getting tattooed (1.057 OPS against). I hope his peripherals really mean that he’s close to rebounding (not just the K/BB ratio, but his BABIP is 329) and that it happens soon because the Cardinals need hime.

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