All eyes on Cardinals' Carpenters in Game 3

St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter hits a third inning two-run home run against the San Francisco...

St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter hits a third inning two-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during Game 3 of their MLB NLCS playoff baseball series in St. Louis, Missouri, October 17, 2012. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:48 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -  St. Louis Cardinals fans expect a lot from their Carpenter when it comes to building a championship team.

Chris Carpenter is 8-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 13 post-season starts as the Cardinals won the 2006 and 2011 World Series and now is two wins from returning to the Series.

Bench player Matt Carpenter, who entered in the second as a defensive replacement for injured Carlos Beltran, was the decisive force in a 3-1 win Wednesday.

As Chris Carpenter watched, Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer into the St. Louis bullpen for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. A 13th round draft from TCU in 2009, Carpenter, 26, wears No. 13.

“It didn’t feel like a pinch-hit appearance, I was in the field first, so it felt like I was in the game,” said Carpenter the hitter, 4-for-4 against Cain, all four regular-season hits were singles.

His father Rick made the nine hour drive to get here for the game and told FOX-TV “I would have walked to get here.”

They would have walked to see their son, maybe, possibly get a pinch hit.

Instead, he played eight innings and was the hero.

“My father threw me batting practice as a youngster and was my high school coach,” said Carpenter. “He’s the reason I’m here.”

Not a bad day for the Carpenter family.

The other Carpenter starts Game 5 on Friday.

GIANTS COULD HAVE LOST GAME IF...

If not for a “hold on a second,” moment at Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2008, the Giants might have lost Game 3 in the seventh. The Doppler radar, The Weather Channel and even Aunt Bertha’s wonky arthritic left elbow thought it was a dumb idea to play.

Tampa Bay Rays’ general manager Andrew Friedman, plus manager Joe Maddon, Philadelphia Phillies GM Pat Gillick, his manager Charlie Manuel, who led the best-of-seven series 3-1, met with the umpiring crew and commissioner Bud Selig before the game.

They looked at the reports and decided to play.

“Hold on a second,” said someone. “What if the Phillies are winning by a run after 4 1/2 innings, it would be an awful way for Tampa Bay to lose.”

And so, it was agreed upon that unlike the regular schedule where five innings -- 4 1/2 if the home team is winning -- consisted a game, a post-season game would be played to completion. Like in the minor leagues.

After a 46-hour rain delay the game resumed and the Phillies won the Series.

Rains came in the bottom of the seventh and after a three hour and 28 minute rain delay play resumed and the Giants prevailed 3-1.

Had this rain delay happened Aug. 9, last time the Giants were in town, the game probably would not have been restarted, same for a post-season game before that night in Philly.

CALL ME, MAYBE

Perhaps you heard about Alex Rodriguez flipping souvenir balls with messages on them to women at Yankee Stadium during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It’s an old custom. When Jim Fregosi took over managing the Anaheim Angels in 1978 he held a team meeting which was short and sweet: signs were explained, players were told to be on time, play hard and there would not be any future meetings. The next day Fregosi held another team meeting to announce: “Only the manager dates the manager’s wife,” as he held up a ball one of his players had handed to the bat boy to give to a pretty woman who turned out to be Mrs. Fregosi.

NO ANGELS HERE

An item on the menu at Patrick’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, formerly known as Pujols 5 before Albert Pujols departed St. Louis to sign a 10-year $254 million US deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, didn’t last long: Angel food cake. “It wasn’t a good idea,” said owner Patrick Hanon, Jr.

WAITING

The Jays gave free-agent Franklin Barreto, 16, $1.45 million US to sign in July. Yet, the Venezuelan infielder, regarded the top prospect from Latin America by Baseball America, did not play an inning this summer. He’s at instructional league now ... The Canadian Junior National Team blanked the Jays 5-0 at the Bobby Mattick Complex. Peterborough’s Travis Seabrooke, Oakville’s Blake Weston, Ajax’s Sean Ratcliffe and Morgan Lofstrom of Kelowna, B.C. combined on the two-hitter. North York’s Gareth Morgan and Tyler O’Neill of Maple Ridge, B.C. each tripled.

GOOD NEWS

A month ago Wednesday Elisse Jensen, granddaughter of Omar Malave, who has worked in the Blue Jays system every year but one since 1981, had open-heart surgery in Boston. Jays fans helped raise money for the surgery since father Joe Jensen had been laid off from his job and was without insurance. An update from momma Omarlyn: “Elisse is doing amazingly great! She acts as if nothing happened to her at all. I’m beyond happy everything went great. We go to Boston at the end of the month for a follow up.”

CONGRATS

Howard Starkman, vice-president of the Blue Jays, earned this year’s President’s award from Sports Media Canada before a large crowd Tuesday at the Royal York. The other award recipients were Terry (His Largeness) Jones of the Edmonton Sun, for the George Gross Lifetime achievement award, Bruce Arthur of the National Post, for outstanding sports-writing; former Queen’s Golden Gaels stud lineman Rod Smith, TSN, for outstanding broadcasting and Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal, for outstanding photography.

 

 


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