Dave Duncan Told Tony La Russa to Start Chris Carpenter Game 7, No Alternatives
Chris Carpenter pitched on short rest to win Game 7 of the World Series Friday and give the Cardinals their 11th title in franchise history. It was an impressive start for Carp who gave up two runs in the first inning and shut out the Rangers for the next five innings in St. Louis’ 6-2 win. He and the bullpen combined to allow no runs and three hits the final eight innings of the deciding game.
Carpenter’s performance was impressive for several reasons: it was his third start of the series; he was pitching on short rest; and he wasn’t deterred by a poor start. The Cardinals could have gone to Kyle Lohse or Edwin Jackson for Game 7 — both of whom were on full rest — but they gave the ball to their ace.
After winning the World Series, manager Tony La Russa said pitching coach Dave Duncan made the decision to start Carpenter an easy one.
“I called [Duncan] in the morning,” La Russa said, “and I said ‘how about the alternatives?'”
“He says ‘are you kidding? It’s Chris Carpenter,’ and he hung up.”
That’s fantastic. It really is an easy decision, and I’m glad the Cardinals didn’t mess around. Carpenter went 4-0 in the postseason and St. Louis won five of his six October starts. After he had beaten Roy Halladay 1-0 in Game 5 of the NLDS, the decision was easy. What a clutch performance by Carpenter. Dude was nails.