Taking a look at Chris Carpenters pitch selection

It wasn’t pretty, but Chris Carpenter finally got his first win of the season in his 8th start.  Carpenter gave up a career high 13 hits, all singles, in which was probably his second worst game of the year.  Carp’s stuff wasn’t great, but enough to get the job done.  His ERA rose to 4.32, but aside from one start this year in Arizona in which he gave up 8 earned runs, the Cardinals have been in every game Carpenter has started.

It doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with Carpenters stuff this year.  His fastball has good velocity according to Fangraphs.com, and is actually up this year to an average of 91.9 MPH, up from 91.4 in 2010 and ahead of his career average of 91.6.  Carps percentage of pitches is as follows:

Pitch                  2011       Career Avg

Fastball               53.5        50.4

Curveball            22.1        23.2

Slider                   20.7        16.4

Change-up          3.7           4.4

Cutter                   0            5.4

I’m not so sure about the 0 percent of cutters being thrown.  Maybe their stats are a bit off on that one.  Anyway, everything appears to be ok with Carpenters pitches and pitch selection.  Carpenter says he feels better and stronger this year than he’s felt in years.  It’s possible that Carpenter is just experiencing a rough patch right now and he’ll have a strong middle of the year and finish.

So to sum it up, I think all those who are writing about the decline of Chris Carpenter are being a bit premature.  Let’s not get too excited about a slow start for a guy who has a career record of 85-35 as a Cardinal.  I think Carpenter will bounce back and still end up with around 15 wins for the year.

On to Tony LaRussa, it’s good to see him take some time off to deal with his pain being caused by shingles.  I wasn’t quite sure what they were until I looked them up.  Shingles is an infection from the same virus that causes chickenpox.  When the chickenpox virus reactivates as shingles, it travels from the spinal cord and through the nerves to attack the skin.  According to doctors, the condition could last from weeks to several months since it wasn’t treated properly in the first 3 days.

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