5 best St. Louis Cardinals starting pitchers since 1967
3. Chris Carpenter
If there ever was a player who turned his career around after coming to St. Louis, it was Chris Carpenter. Injury issues plagued the 6-6 right hander during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays, and in 2002, found himself removed from their 40-man roster.
Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty took a chance, and signed Carpenter, who was still recovering from surgery. By 2004, the move was paying big dividends for St. Louis.
In Carpenter’s nine years with the Cardinals, he won the Cy Young Award (2005), finished second in voting (2009), third in voting (2006), had the NL-best ERA (2.28) and ERA+ (182)in 2009. He proved himself to be a workhorse on the mound by leading the NL in innings pitched in 2011 (237), games started in 2010 (35) and 2011 (34).
However, it was in the 11 Cardinals postseason series which he excelled. Carpenter posted a 10-4 record with a 3.00 ERA, and 3-0 in four World Series games.
The only snag to Carpenter’s career in St. Louis was injuries. He spent the better part of 2007, 2008, and 2012 on the Injured List.
Carpenter finished his career in St. Louis with a 95-44 record, 3.07 ERA, a ERA+ of 133, and two World Series rings. Harder to measure was his impact on the Cardinals clubhouse during this tenure in St. Louis. His workhouse mentality and his leadership were instrumental in leading the Cardinals to two World Series Championships.