SAN FRANCISCO (BaseballStL) -- While Ryan Vogelsong was carving up Cardinals hitters left and right, Chris Carpenter struggled to find home plate umpire Jerry Layne’s strike zone early in Game 6.
Carpenter allowed one run in the opening frame while walking one batter and allowing a hit to another. After throwing only eight strikes in the 19-pitch inning, Carpenter glared as his teammate, Yadier Molina, discussed the strike zone with Layne.
The second inning wasn’t any kinder to Carpenter, who allowed a leadoff triple which came around to score later in the inning. An error by shortstop Pete Kozma also hampered the veteran right-hander as he would give up a two-RBI double with two outs. It would take 31 pitches to get through the second inning.
With the pitcher’s spot up to bat second in the next inning, manager Mike Matheny surprisingly kept Carpenter in the game to hit despite having Joe Kelly in the bullpen warming up the inning before.
In the third inning, Carpenter battled back to strike out the first two batters. What happened next just seemed inevitable. Gregor Blanco doubled on a bad hop over first baseman Matt Carpenter’s head although no damage was done as the next batter would strike out to end the inning. Thirteen of the 15 pitches thrown in the third inning were for strikes.
One good thing to take away from a rather lackluster start from Carpenter is that he was able to get through the early inning struggles and preserve the bullpen a little bit.
Skip Schumaker was called upon to pinch-hit for Carpenter in the fifth inning, which resulted in a ground out to end the inning. Rookie reliever Shelby Miller entered the game in relief of Carpenter.
Carpenter’s final stat line: 4 innings pitched, 6 hits, 5 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts