As much as it pains me to say it, St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter has got to be a lock to win the National League Cy Young Award this season. I have been making every excuse possible to give the award to Tim Lincecum, but now, the writing is on the wall.
Carpenter went out on Labor Day, and labored every bit as much as he had in his career. In this case, the labor payed off big time.
CC went nine shutout innings allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 10 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Carpenter was just a Jody Gerut double away from pitching a no-hitter against a team that has the league leading RBI hitter, Prince Fielder, batting forth. Now, Ryan Braun wasn’t in the lineup, but in no way does that detract from this humongous feat for Carpenter.
Carpenter is now 16-3 on the year, boasting a 2.16 ERA and 129 strikeouts. That puts him three wins, two losses and .18 ERA points ahead of Lincecum. Chris also has the fact that he will be making the playoffs on his side, but Timmy still has a shot at the wild card. The only clear advantage that Lincecum has statistically is strikeouts, but it’s a big one. Timmy has over 100 more K’s than Carpenter.
Still, Chris gets our vote at this point. His comeback from Tommy John Surgery might be the best part of his whole story. This guy has gone from a torn labrum in 2003, to 2004 NL Comeback Player of the Year, to 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner, to making four starts in 2007 and 2008 combined because of injuries to his throwing arm, to winning another NL Cy Young and likely another Comeback Player of the Year Award.
We could be talking about this guy as one of the greatest to ever pitch had he stayed healthy his whole career.