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09 July 2010

Still Questions About Carpenter's Health

After St. Louis Cardinal starter Chris Carpenter took a Kelly Johnson line-drive off his right (read: pitching) forearm in the first inning June 28, questions remain about the lingering effects.   Carpenter remained in that game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and seemed to be okay as he went 7 innings giving up 3 earned runs in a no decision.  But many observers noticed the lack of sharpness on his curve.  Carpenter followed that up with his worst non-injury shortened start as a Cardinal on July 3 against the Brewers.  It's then that questions about Carpenter's health began to surface.   Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and Carpenter insisted that his health was fine, with the Redbirds starter explaining, "I wouldn't go out there if I had an opportunity to hurt myself.  My arm is fine."  This lead me to question the veracity of injury disclosures by the club.

     Now Roger Hensley of raises the same questions.  Since Carpenter first made his appearance on the field wearing the Birds on the Bat, the Cardinals have never made the playoffs without him in the rotation deep into the season.  With the thought of what a forearm injury did to Kyle Lohse's season - and the debacle of the recent series in Colorado - the sleep of Cardinals Nation is suddenly troubled by nightmares of a dream season slipping away.

     As I drain my Budweiser to drown such thoughts, this Redbird fan prays such pessimism is unfounded.  Maybe Carp is just having a down year.  Adam Wainwright's growth into a true ace of the staff means the Cardinals still have as formidable 1-2 punch in the rotation as anyone in the National League.

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