Carpenter's quest for the Cooperstown: Does a comeback make his case?

Carpenter's quest for the Cooperstown: Does a comeback make his case?

during Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.

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by Baseball StL Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 11 at 3:05 PM

(Baseball StL) -- Chris Carpenter’s postseason heroics have become legendary. Only Hall of Famer Bob Gibson has a comparable record of success in big games in Cardinals history. 

As he prepares to make his first rehab start on Monday in Springfield from what was believed to be a career ending injury, could Carpenter enhance his Hall of Fame chances with another strong postseason run?

Carpenter’s one hit, 1-0 shutout victory over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the NLDS in 2011, along with his Game 7 World Series clincher, were unforgettable. But how does Carpenter’s overall career record shape his Hall of Fame candidacy? 

Carpenter was the Cy Young Award winner in 2005, while finishing in the top 3 in voting in 2006 and 2009. However, numerous injuries have caused hiccups in his career.

The right-hander has missed nearly all of four separate seasons due to injuries. What have those done to his HOF bid?

One pitcher’s career that compares favorably with Carpenter is Curt Shilling.

While Carpenter has recorded a 10-4 record with a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts during his postseason career, Shilling was 11-2 with 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts. Shilling also pitched for 3 World Series winning teams, while capturing the Most Valuable Player award in the 2001 World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, Carpenter is a 2-time World Series champion.

When it comes to pitching in the regular season, Shilling has the edge on Carpenter.  Shilling finished his career with a record of 216-46, with an ERA of 3.46. Carpenter can still add to his 114-94 career mark.

Despite his stellar postseason statistics and winning over 200 games, Shilling was still shutout in his first year of eligibility for the Hall.

Now at age 38, Carpenter will try to make yet another comeback from injury issues. Can one more magical ride through the postseason with the Cardinals give Carpenter serious consideration for induction into Cooperstown?

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