Losing an All-Star and potential MVP candidate is never a good thing. Especially when you are now in third place in your division. But the timing of the loss of Carpenter, if it turns out to be a loss to the DL, could help minimize the damage.
Now, do not misread this title. I am very scared that Matt Carpenter will be out for awhile. Any DL stint could send the Cardinals into a tail spin. But this would not be just any old player going down. This is Carpenter we are talking about. He is the engine of the Cardinals. His bat at the top of the lineup is one of the main reasons you see one of the best offences in the game residing in St. Louis. He is a potential .300/30/100 player this year and that is something the Cardinals have not had for quite some time.
Some people will say this will just make others feel responsible to play better and will up the quality of play of the team as a whole. And to that I say malarkey. That may have worked last year when we had a consistency of talent at most positions but that is not the case in 2016. Second base is now in question, as well as first, as well as center, as well as third (depending on the severity of Jhonny Peralta‘s injury), as well as left field (if Mike Matheny keeps playing Matt Holliday‘s rally killing bat). There are a lot of questions around this Cardinal team but Matt Carpenter never was one. This throws the field, lineup, and overall confidence into chaos.
But there is at least a touch of good news regarding this injury even if it may not be enough for many fans.
The Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter was hurt, and this will be a huge test for St. Louis, writes Mark Saxon. https://t.co/vFMejnp4VR
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 7, 2016
First of all, the division leading Chicago cubs are in a tail spin. They have won only 5 of their last 18 games. They cannot beat teams they crushed earlier in the season. They simply look pedestrian. Their pitching is showing its true character. Their offense, while still potent, is beginning to show how hindered it is by some of the black holes in the lineup card (i.e. Jason Heyward hitting in the 2 spot). They look like an average team that had a ridiculous hot streak at the beginning of the season. They don’t even have the best record in baseball anymore. Carpenter would be helpful in the fact that his bat would make it easier to catch the Cubs during this time but the fact is we will lose very little ground in the central.
Now the main reason for this not being all that bad is the timing of all of it. The series with Pittsburgh is almost over. There is only 1 more game left against the pirates and hopefully we can pull out the W. Next, we face the lowly Brewers in a three game set. An easy set of games that we should take all three even without our best hitter. Then we cruise into a nice 4 day break. That is a full 8 days that Marp may not be as missed as he could be. The schedule afterwards is not as easy but is far from difficult. A set against the Padres and Marlins follow the All-Star break. These are games we can win even without bare handed Carpenter.
This injury is not good. It hurts the Cardinals. There is no getting around it. But that being said, it happened at the best possible time.
Get better soon Matt.
-Hope You Enjoyed
Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports