Blog Entry

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Posted on: May 25, 2009 5:49 pm
MILWAUKEE -- When Zack Greinke didn't give up an earned run through his first four starts this year, he landed on the cover of a national magazine with the headline, "The Best Pitcher in Baseball."

So what does that make Chris Carpenter?

The Cardinals right-hander was nearly perfect Monday, and he's nearly perfect for the season. Just like Greinke, he's gone through his first four starts of the season without allowing an earned run (although in Carpenter's case, he left one of the games after three innings because of an injury).

In the last 50 years, according to research through , only three pitchers have gone four starts into a season with a 0.00 ERA. Fernando Valenzuela did it in 1985 with the Dodgers, and Greinke and Carpenter have done it this year. No one has ever gone five, although Carpenter will have a chance at it when he starts Sunday in San Francisco.

"I believe it, because we're all seeing it," Cards manager Tony La Russa said. "It's remarkable how he's pitched. You just can't do what he's doing, being this sharp."

Monday in Milwaukee, Carpenter didn't allow a baserunner until the eighth inning, when Craig Counsell led off with a single up the middle. Mike Cameron singled with one out in the eighth, and was the only other Brewer to reach base off Carpenter. Despite Carpenter's eight scoreless innings, the Cardinals lost to the Brewers, 1-0 in 10 innings.

Carpenter gave up an unearned run in the third inning of his first start, April 9 against the Pirates. He hasn't allowed a run of any kind in 20 innings since, a streak that was interrupted by the month he spent on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

Carpenter left his April 14 start in Arizona because of the injury. He returned last Wednesday with five scoreless against the Cubs, and followed that up with his outstanding performance Monday.
Health has always been the issue for Carpenter, who missed most of the last two seasons with injuries.

"With the things I've dealt with in the past, you never know," he said Monday.

We do know one thing. Four starts into the season, Carpenter has a 0.00 ERA, just like Zack Greinke did.

Maybe he's not the best pitcher in baseball, either. But La Russa is right. What he's doing is remarkable.


Frank Catalanotto joined the Brewers Monday, which was interesting in two different ways.

First, Catalanotto was long ago seen as a National League-type player, because he's a talented hitter who can play a variety of positions. And yet, this is the first time in his 12-year career that Catalanotto has played for an NL team.

Second, when Catalanotto was a 21-year-old minor leaguer in the Tiger system, he was called over to play a few spring training games alongside Cecil Fielder. He said Monday he even remembers watching Prince Fielder (who was then 11 years old) take batting practice.

Now, he's Prince Fielder's teammate with the Brewers. Catalanotto isn't the first ex-Cecil teammate to play for the Brewers alongside Prince. David Bell was briefly Cecil's teammate with the '98 Indians, then played for Milwaukee in 2006.

Then there's Pat Borders.

"I played with Pat Borders in Triple-A," Prince said Monday. "He used to babysit me, when he was in the minor leagues with my dad with the Blue Jays."

Catalanotto was a free agent last winter, and didn't get a job until the Brewers signed him to a minor-league contract a couple of weeks back. He said Milwaukee was attractive for a few reasons, beyond being the team that offered him a job.

"This is 12 years for me, and I haven't played a game in the postseason, so I wanted to be with a team that had a chance," he said.

Also, Catalanotto knows Brewers general manager Doug Melvin from their days together with the Rangers. And manager Ken Macha managed against Catalanotto all the way back in 1997, in the Triple-A International League.

Catalanotto was a second baseman then. He hasn't played second since 2002, but the Brewers (short on infielders with Rickie Weeks out for the year and J.J. Hardy nursing a sore back) plan to have him take some ground balls.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:00 pm

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 10:46 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 11:30 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 11:51 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:23 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:36 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:26 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2009 1:33 pm

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Carp being healthy yesterday didn't help you(was a great game though, a true pitcher's duel). The Cardinals can't beat the Brewers anymore(Brewers have won 11 of the last 12 and the Cardinals are doing nothing but bi itching about the Brewers swag). The Reds may soon pass the Cardinals for second in the division. Carpenter is definitely a stud though. I think the Cardinals should just shut up and play baseball. That's just my opinion on it.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2009 11:45 am

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

Congrats to carp, he was simply unhittable yesterday

Since: Oct 6, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2009 9:37 pm

Carpenter makes history -- one kind, anyway

I'm all for DeRosa; as much as I like the "rookie" platoon at third, we need more production from that spot.  Mo, pull the trigger!

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