When I think about Chris Carpenter's success with the Cardinals, I compare him to Hall of Fame Cardinal pitcher Bob Gibson.
Back in the day, Gibson was the kind of pitcher the manager threw out there and expected to win. With some pitchers, managers cross their fingers but Gibson wasn't one of those. The guy was flat out intimidating and he could pitch. He had a great fastball and wasn't afraid to pitch inside.
Carpenter doesn't have the blazing fastball but can dazzle hitters with the curve ball. In his own quiet way, he is also intimidating because he competes. Like Gibson, Cardinal manager Tony LaRussa has to be comfortable about winning each time Carpenter trots out to the mound. When he remains healthy, Carpenter is one of the best in all of baseball. Yes, the Atlanta Braves scored often on him last Sunday, but that hasn't happen too often in Carpenter's career.
Carpenter is 16-4 with a 2.45 E.R.A., and I'll heard talk that his Atlanta performance hurt his Cy Young chances. Maybe so, but Carpenter can still put up strong numbers and help led his team in the postseason.
Do you consider Carpenter in the same league with Gibson when you mention Cardinal great starting pitchers?