CARPE DIEM! New Hampshire native Chris Carpenter picked up another postseason win by defeating the Rangers, 3-2, in World Series Game 1. That's now eight postseason wins, tying with Mariano Rivera for the most among active pitchers.
The win also moves Carpenter ahead of St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson for most all-time in club history. (I know what you're thinking: Gibson didn't have the NLDS or NLCS. He made nine postseason starts.)
Regardless, Carpenter (13 starts) has shut down the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers in a clinic on the mound. Game 1 was a chilly 40-something degrees, and the ace adjusted by commanding two-seam fastballs with Maddux-like movement. Other pitchers struggled with their off-speed stuff because the cold baseball felt slick.
"Carp" didn't throw a deuce until his 31st pitch. And how about the Trinity High graduate diving into first base to make the out. Gamer.
|CHRIS CARPENTER dives into first base and gets the out|
after catching a throw by Albert Pujols. Reuters Photo
"That ball in the first, I think we need to work on that one next spring," Carpenter said in postgame. "It was just an instinct. He threw that ball, it was a little out of my reach and I dove. I was like 'I'm going to go get it, and it turned out to work out."
BIRD FEED: Rangy Albert Pujols was tremendous at first base, making an impact with his glove instead of his bat ... Mad scientist Tony La Russa did it again, successfully pinch-hitting for Carpenter and having Allen Craig drive in the go-ahead run.
Lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski became the first ex-Fisher Cat to play in the World Series. "Zep" struck out a pair of righties to end the 7th.