Between 1999 and 2008, the Cardinals' steely ace has undergone two operations on his shoulder and four on his elbow for a grand total of six.
By this count, he is leagues beyond any other pitcher who has played such a dominant role in the postseason. Between the three orthopedic surgeons who've worked on him and the trainers who've paced him through hours of grinding rehab, it's tempting to declare that Carpenter isn't a pitcher at all, but a prize-winning $15 million collective science project.
"I've got a bunch of little holes all over my shoulder and some holes in the back of my elbow," Carpenter said after the Cardinals knotted the series with the Milwaukee Brewers at one game apiece Monday night. For the second elbow operation, he explained, "they used the same elbow scar."