June 15, 2009

Cliff Lee too much for Carp

Chris Carpenter is one of the best pitchers on the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was outmatched Sunday in a nationally televised game on ESPN.

Cliff Lee, a former Cy Young Award winner, of the Cleveland Indians, threw no-hit baseball for nearly eight innings, then went on to shut out the Cardinals in a complete game.

The Indians supported Lee well with three runs, not usually enough to win a major league baseball game, but plenty when the opponents are held scoreless.

Mark DeRosa, the Indians all-around defender and hot bat in the clutch, didn't wait to take Cards' starter Carpenter deep in the first inning with a two-run shot with two outs. The base runner was a freebie, a walk by Carpenter. The Tribe would add a run later.

Lee had the luxury of pitching with a lead, which he admitted helps, in a post-game interview. But Lee says he approaches every inning with the intention of holding the competition scoreless, regardless of the current game score.

Much of Cardinal Nation states that as Carpenter goes, so goes the Cards, which is nice to say when the team is on a winning streak. But the danger in such fanfare is when Carpenter gets out pitched, and especially in a decisive manner. It's not a big deal. It is, after all, a game, and one in which wins and losses get handed out, so to speak, rather evenly on average.

Having lost the inter-league series to the Indians, 2-1, the Cardinals now head for home and a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers. After that, it's back on the road again. The Tigers' series starts Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.