Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

In a span of less than 24 hours, Lou Brock got the last stolen base of his career, established a major-league record and met with the president of the United States.

Forty years ago, on Sept. 23, 1979, Brock, 40, made his last steal in his final appearance in New York as a player. The swipe of second base came during a Cardinals game against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

The steal was the 938th for Brock as a big-leaguer and put him ahead of Billy Hamilton as the all-time leader. Hamilton played in the majors from 1888-1901, under different and easier scoring rules, and held the stolen base mark of 937.

Years after Brock set the record of 938, Hamilton’s total was revised. Some sources show it as 914 and others as 912.

Brock’s mark eventually was broken by Rickey Henderson.

The top six career leaders in stolen bases are Henderson (1,406), Brock (938), Hamilton (914 or 912), Ty Cobb (897 or 892), Tim Raines (808) and Vince Coleman (752).

Top thief

Brock had said 1979 would be his final season as a player and he made it a memorable one. He hit for average, got named to the National League all-star team and achieved his 3,000th career hit.

After breaking the stolen base mark which had been in place for nearly 80 years, Brock told The Sporting News, “That will be the final act of my career.”

Brock’s bravado theft occurred in the fifth inning. With one out and the bases empty, Brock drew a walk from Mets starter Juan Berenguer. On Berenguer’s first pitch to the next batter, Keith Hernandez, Brock broke for second and swiped the base.

The throw from catcher John Stearns was high and sailed into center field. Brock advanced to third on the error and continued to the plate, scoring easily, when center fielder Joel Youngblood bobbled the ball.

Brock was presented with the base he stole to set the record.

When he batted again in the seventh, the public-address announcer informed the crowd Brock was playing in New York for the last time and they responded with a standing ovation. Brock reached on an error by third baseman Richie Hebner, loading the bases, and was removed between innings by manager Ken Boyer. Boxscore

National treasure

Brock headed to Washington, D.C., where he had a personal meeting scheduled the next morning, Sept. 24, 1979, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House.

Carter invited Brock to the Oval Office in order to honor him for getting 3,000 hits. The stolen base record gave them more to celebrate.

“I think this is a unique achievement of his to be this kind of a baserunner and a clean sportsman at the same time,” Carter said.

Carter said Brock “represents the finest in American sports.”

Brock told Carter he was “deeply honored” and “very much impressed” by the visit. He presented Carter with an autographed bat and a pair of red cleats.

Fine finish

After meeting with Carter, Brock immediately headed to Philadelphia, where the Cardinals had a night game with the Phillies.

Boyer let him rest and didn’t play him in a game the Cardinals won, 7-2, but Brock was back in the lineup the next night, Sept. 25, 1979, for his final appearance in Philadelphia before closing out the season in St. Louis.

Brock finished the 1979 season with a .304 batting average, 21 stolen bases and 123 hits in 120 games played.

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Tom Phoebus won a start versus Bob Gibson and got traded for Tony La Russa.

Phoebus died Sept. 5, 2019, at 77. A 5-foot-8 right-hander, he pitched for seven seasons in the major leagues, primarily with the Orioles.

Phoebus hurled a no-hitter against the Red Sox, won a World Series game and had double-digit win totals for the Orioles in three consecutive years _ 14 in 1967, 15 in 1968 and 14 in 1969.

His career record in the majors was 56-52 with a 3.33 ERA.

Phoebus spent his last two big-league seasons in the National League, with the Padres and Cubs. In six appearances versus the Cardinals, he was 2-2 with two saves and a 3.44 ERA.

Hometown heroics

Born and raised in Baltimore, Phoebus was 18 when he signed with the Orioles as an amateur free agent in June 1960.

In 1961, his second season as a pro, Phoebus struggled to a 1-12 record and 5.53 ERA for Leesburg of the Florida State League. The Orioles stuck with him, though, and he worked his way through their system.

Pitching in 1966 for a Rochester club managed by Earl Weaver, Phoebus was 13-9 with five shutouts and a 3.02 ERA.

The 1966 Orioles, on their way to an American League pennant, rewarded him with a promotion to the big leagues. The Orioles’ pitching coach was the former Cardinal, Harry Brecheen.

Phoebus, 24, made his major-league debut on Sept. 15, 1966, with a start against the Angels and pitched a four-hit shutout. Boxscore. In his next appearance, Sept. 20, 1966, Phoebus shut out the Athletics on a five-hitter, beating Catfish Hunter. Boxscore

Phoebus became the seventh major-league pitcher to craft a shutout in each of his first two starts, and the first to do so since Karl Spooner of the 1954 Dodgers.

“He’s a good boy with good stuff,” Brecheen told the Baltimore Sun. “All he has to do is get it over the plate.”

A year later, after he led the 1967 Orioles in wins (14), innings pitched (208) and strikeouts (179), Phoebus was named the top rookie pitcher in the American League in player balloting by The Sporting News.

“Ask hitters around the American League and they’re quick to admit Phoebus is one of the toughest pitchers to hit,” The Sporting News reported. “He’s got a good fastball, his slider breaks nearly as much as anyone else’s curve and his curve is ridiculous.”

On April 27, 1968, Phoebus pitched a no-hitter against the defending American League champion Red Sox. He walked two batters in the first inning and another in the sixth before retiring the last 12 in a row. Boxscore

In his final Orioles appearance, Phoebus was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 1970 World Series versus the Reds, pitching in relief of Mike Cuellar. Boxscore

Two months later, on Dec. 1, 1970, the Orioles traded Phoebus, pitchers Al Severinsen and Fred Beene, and shortstop Enzo Hernandez to the Padres for pitchers Pat Dobson and Tom Dukes.

Facing the best

The Padres projected Phoebus to join a starting rotation led by former Cardinals farmhand Clay Kirby. “Never in my 30 years of scouting have I seen a pitcher who can get two strikes on a hitter as quick as Tom Phoebus can,” Padres scout Leon Hamilton said.

Phoebus made two starts versus the Cardinals. The first was at San Diego on April 17, 1971, and it began badly for him. Matty Alou hit the first pitch of the game for a single and Joe Hague hit the next for a home run. Phoebus regrouped and pitched seven innings, allowing three total runs, but Steve Carlton tossed a four-hit shutout and the Cardinals won, 4-0. Boxscore

A month later, on May 24, 1971, at St. Louis, Phoebus was matched against Gibson. The Padres scored seven runs against the Cardinals’ ace and won, 12-3. The Sporting News noted Phoebus “celebrated the birth of his second son” by getting the win. Boxscore

It was the last win Phoebus would get for the Padres.

After beating Gibson, Phoebus lost his next seven decisions and was moved to the bullpen. He finished 3-11 for the 1971 Padres; Dobson was 20-8 for the 1971 Orioles.

Cubs helper

At spring training in 1972, Padres pitching coach Roger Craig said, “Phoebus is throwing better than he did all last year and he’s keeping the ball down.”

After making one regular-season start for the Padres, Phoebus was dealt to the Cubs for cash on April 20, 1972.

The Cubs made Phoebus a reliever and he earned his first two saves for them against the Cardinals at St. Louis on May 18, 1972, Boxscore and on May 21, 1972. Boxscore

In the latter game, Phoebus entered in the ninth with one out, Cardinals runners on second and third, and the Cubs ahead, 3-1. He got Ted Sizemore out on a deep sacrifice fly, making the score 3-2.

The next batter, Jerry McNertney, worked the count to 3-and-1. Phoebus saw Joe Torre in the on-deck circle and, according to the Chicago Tribune, “admitted he came in with a fastball over the middle of the plate, preferring a swing of any kind from McNertney than a confrontation with Torre.”

McNertney grounded out to short, ending the game.

New career

Phoebus was 3-3 with six saves and a 3.78 ERA for the 1972 Cubs. He told The Sporting News he had become a better craftsman.

“When you first get up here, you think the most important thing is to try to impress everybody with great velocity and a good curveball,” Phoebus said. “After you’ve been around, you realize what’s really important is throwing strikes and working on the hitter, keeping him off balance. I’m not strikeout happy like I used to be. Today I’d rather throw one pitch and hope for a double play than strike out two batters.”

The Braves were impressed by him and talked to the Cubs about a deal. On Oct. 20, 1972, Phoebus was traded to the Braves for La Russa.

“When I saw Phoebus last season, he looked like a workhorse,” said Braves manager Eddie Mathews. “He showed me a good arm and he wanted to pitch.”

The Cubs liked La Russa, 28, and projected him as a utility infielder. La Russa had spent the 1972 season with the Braves’ Richmond farm club and was named the International League all-star second baseman, batting .308 with 15 stolen bases. “Our scouting reports on him indicate he can make it,” said Cubs vice president John Holland. “We’re going to give him a chance.”

The deal, however, didn’t work out the way anyone envisioned.

La Russa appeared in one game for the 1973 Cubs as a pinch-runner for Ron Santo. It was La Russa’s last game as a big-league player. He spent the rest of the 1973 season with the Cubs’ Wichita farm club and batted .314 with a team-leading 75 RBI, six more than runner-up Pete LaCock. La Russa played four more seasons in the minors before embarking on a Hall of Fame career as a manager.

The Braves assigned Phoebus to Richmond, where he pitched on a staff with former Cardinal Larry Jaster. Phoebus was 7-11 with a 3.38 ERA for Richmond, but no big-league club showed interest.

Phoebus, 31, decided to quit baseball. He worked as a liquor salesman before enrolling at the University of South Florida, where he earned a degree in education when he was 43.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Phoebus “spent nearly two decades as a physical education instructor at a Port St. Lucie (Fla.) grade school before retiring” in Palm City, Fla.

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Facing the Cardinals in the last week of the season during the heat of a pennant race, the Dodgers started Sandy Koufax, used a record number of pinch-hitters and rallied for three runs in the ninth on Frank Howard’s home run, but still lost.

Sixty years ago, on Sept. 22, 1959, the Cardinals knocked the Dodgers out of first place in the National League with an 11-10 victory at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The game was wild and unusual for multiple reasons, including:

_ Neither starting pitcher, Koufax nor the Cardinals’ Larry Jackson, lasted an inning.

_ Dodgers manager Walter Alston used nine pinch-hitters, setting a major league record.

_ Cardinals catcher Hal Smith hit a grand slam, his only one in seven big-league seasons, against Koufax.

_ Cardinals manager Solly Hemus got ejected before the Dodgers made an out.

Explosive start

The Dodgers went into the Tuesday night game tied with the Braves for first place. Both were 83-66 and both had five games remaining in the regular season. The Cardinals were 68-81 and in seventh place in the eight-team league.

The matchup of Koufax and Jackson figured to be a pitcher’s duel.

Koufax struck out 18 batters against the Giants three weeks earlier, tying the major-league record set by Bob Feller of the Indians in 1938 and breaking the National League mark of 17 established by the Cardinals’ Dizzy Dean in 1933.

Jackson was 8-1 versus the Dodgers at Busch Stadium in his career and 12-5 against them overall.

From the start, though, the game defied expectations.

The first three Dodgers batters, Jim Gilliam, Charlie Neal and Wally Moon, each singled, loading the bases. After Duke Snider walked, scoring Gilliam, Hemus was ejected by plate umpire Al Barlick for arguing balls and strikes. Hemus created more commotion when he failed to leave the dugout immediately after the ejection. Coach Johnny Keane took over as Cardinals manager.

When play resumed, Norm Larker singled, driving in Neal and Moon and giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Marshall Bridges relieved Jackson, threw one pitch to Gil Hodges and got him to hit into a double play, with Snider advancing to third. Maury Wills was walked intentionally and John Roseboro made an out at second, ending the inning.

“Bridges’ brilliant rescue act in the first inning cut short what promised to be an atomic blast,” the Los Angeles Times noted.

The line for Jackson: five batters faced, four hits, one walk, three runs.

Wild thing

Given a 3-0 lead, Koufax couldn’t protect it.

In the bottom half of the first, Don Blasingame walked and Joe Cunningham grounded to Koufax, who threw to second for the force. Gino Cimoli grounded out, moving Cunningham to second. After Ken Boyer walked, Gene Oliver got an infield single, loading the bases. Smith, known more for his defense than his slugging, came up next. He worked the count to 3-and-2 before belting a Koufax fastball for the grand slam and a 4-3 Cardinals lead.

Koufax yielded six grand slams in his Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers, including one to another Cardinal, Charlie James, in 1962.

After the next batter, Curt Flood, reached on an error by Gilliam at third, Chuck Churn relieved. Koufax faced seven batters and gave up two hits, two walks and four runs.

“He was just wild,” Alston said to the Los Angeles Times. “He’s the same man who struck out 18 batters the other day.”

Fastball hitter

In the ninth, Cardinals closer Lindy McDaniel, making his club-record 61st appearance of the season, was looking to protect an 11-7 lead. McDaniel hadn’t allowed a home run since May 30 when Hodges connected off him in Los Angeles.

McDaniel got the first batter, Carl Furillo, to ground out to third. Hodges singled and, after Wills lined out to second, the former Cardinal, Rip Repulski, singled.

The next batter was the 6-foot-7 rookie, Frank Howard. Smith gave McDaniel the sign for a fastball and Howard hit it into the bleachers in left-center for a three-run home run, getting the Dodgers within a run.

Howard’s homer was the second of 382 he would hit in the majors.

“Now I’m convinced he can hit a fastball,” Smith said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

McDaniel recovered by getting Gilliam to ground out to second, ending the game. Boxscore

Mix and match

When the Dodgers fell behind early, Alston went to pinch-hitters to try to get favorable matchups against Bridges, a left-hander, and McDaniel, a right-hander.

“Alston pushed every button and called on just about every available athlete to save the game,” the St. Louis Globe-Democrat observed.

The nine pinch-hitters used by the Dodgers:

_ Tommy Davis, making his major-league debut, struck out in the fourth.

_ Don Demeter flied out in the fifth and stayed in the game.

_ Carl Furillo flied out in the fifth and stayed in the game.

_ Joe Pignatano walked in the sixth and stayed in the game.

_ Chuck Essegian, a former Cardinal, hit a RBI-double in the sixth.

_ Ron Fairly grounded out in the eighth.

_ Sandy Amoros grounded out in the eighth.

_ Rip Repulski singled in the ninth.

_ Frank Howard hit a three-run home run in the ninth.

According to Baseball Almanac, two other teams tied the 1959 Dodgers’ record by using nine pinch-hitters in a nine-inning game. Those teams were the Expos on Sept. 5, 1975, versus the Pirates, and the Braves on Sept. 21, 1993, against the Expos. In addition, the Cardinals and manager Tony La Russa used nine pinch-hitters in a 14-inning game on Sept. 25, 1997, versus the Reds.

The loss to the Cardinals dropped the Dodgers a game behind the Braves with four remaining. The Dodgers won three of their last four and the Braves won two, putting the clubs in a first-place tie at the end of the regular season.

The Dodgers clinched the pennant in a best-of-three playoff against the Braves, winning the first two games, and advanced to the World Series, earning the championship by winning four of six against the White Sox.

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On a night when Steve Carlton pitched great, he wasn’t good enough to win.

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 15, 1969, Carlton became the first major-league pitcher to strike out 19 batters in nine innings, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the mojo of the Amazin’ Mets.

Ron Swoboda hit a pair of two-run home runs against Carlton, giving the Mets a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis.

In addition to striking out 19 times, the Mets committed four errors, but they were a charmed club destined to become 1969 World Series champions.

In the lead to his game story for the New York Daily News, Dick Young wrote, “The Mets were absolutely no match” for Carlton, but their win “goes to prove how utterly amazin’ they really are.”

Said Mets manager Gil Hodges: “It’s great to win when you play badly.”

Getting better

Carlton, 24, wasn’t feeling well before the Monday night game with the Mets.

“I had a fever all day and I felt so bad that I slept an extra hour and didn’t get to the ballpark until 7 o’clock, an hour before the game was to start,” Carlton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

He said he took aspirins and got a rubdown from the team trainer.

The start of the game was delayed 26 minutes by rain and there was a 54-minute rain delay in the first inning.

Despite his aches and the damp conditions, Carlton struck out the sides in the first and second innings.

“I had a great fastball that kept rising and my curve was falling right off the table,” Carlton said to the Post-Dispatch.

Making mistakes

With the Cardinals ahead, 1-0, Donn Clendenon drew a walk, leading off the fourth for the Mets, and Swoboda batted next.

Carlton got ahead in the count 0-and-2 and “tried to burn another over without a waste pitch,” the New York Daily News reported.

The fastball was “right in his wheelhouse,” Carlton said, and Swoboda hit it deep into the left-field seats for a home run and a 2-1 Mets lead.

Carlton struck out the side in the fourth and the Cardinals scored twice in the fifth against Mets starter Gary Gentry, regaining the lead at 3-2.

In the middle innings, Carlton told the Post-Dispatch, “I became dizzy, tired and nauseated,” but he recovered and remained in the game.

In the eighth, Tommie Agee led off for the Mets with a single, Clendenon struck out and Swoboda came to the plate.

With the count 2-and-2, Carlton hung a slider _ “I didn’t get it inside enough,” he said _ and Swoboda lined it over the wall for a home run and a 4-3 Mets lead.

Swoboda also struck out twice and said Carlton “was fantastic.”

The two home runs gave Swoboda nine for the season. For his career, Swoboda batted .130 (6-for-46) versus Carlton with the two home runs.

“He’s primarily an inside fastball hitter,” Carlton said. “He has a tendency to swing through outside pitches and sometimes doesn’t reach them. If you go inside with him, you have to go way inside.”

Magic number

Carlton went into the ninth inning with 16 strikeouts and said he made up his mind to go for the record. Three pitchers had struck out 18 batters in nine innings. They were the Indians’ Bob Feller, the Dodgers Sandy Koufax (twice) and the Astros’ Don Wilson.

Carlton struck out pitcher Tug McGraw for No. 17 and Bud Harrelson for No. 18, tying the major-league mark. The 18 strikeouts also established a Cardinals club record, topping the previous high of 17 by Dizzy Dean versus the Cubs in a 1933 regular-season game and Bob Gibson versus the Tigers in a 1968 World Series game.

The next Mets batter, rookie Amos Otis, already had struck out three times in the game.

“I was tense,” Carlton said, “but I knew Otis was tense, too, because nobody likes to go into the record book that way, as the No. 19 strikeout.”

For Otis to avoid becoming the 19th strikeout victim, Carlton said, “I thought he might bunt.”

When asked whether he considered bunting, Otis said, “If I’m going in the books, I’m going in right. I wasn’t doing any bunting.”

With the count 2-and-2, Otis swung and missed at a slider in the dirt. The ball eluded catcher Tim McCarver, who retrieved it and threw to first base in time to complete strikeout No. 19 for Carlton.

“I’m very elated to have done something no other pitcher had ever done,” Carlton said. Boxscore

Big numbers

According to the Post-Dispatch, Carlton threw 152 pitches, including 106 for strikes. He got 12 strikeouts on fastballs, five on sliders and two on curves.

Since then, four pitchers have struck out 20 batters in nine innings. They are Roger Clemens of the Red Sox (twice), the Cubs’ Kerry Wood, the Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer.

Carlton is one of four pitchers who have topped 4,000 career strikeouts. The four are Nolan Ryan (5,714), Randy Johnson (4,875), Clemens (4,672) and Carlton (4,136).

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For many, it no longer paid to watch the Cardinals try to remain in the 1989 division title chase.

Thirty years ago, on Sept. 14, 1989, the paid attendance to see the Pirates play the Cardinals in a Thursday afternoon game at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis was 1,519.

It was the lowest paid attendance total for a Cardinals game since the stadium opened in May 1966.

The Cardinals’ previous lowest paid attendance figure at Busch Memorial Stadium was 3,380 on Sept. 27, 1972, for a game against the Mets. The Wednesday afternoon game was the regular-season home finale for the Cardinals, who began the day 23 games out of first place at 71-79. Boxscore

In 1989, the Cardinals were supposed to have an off-day on Sept. 14, but a game hastily was scheduled to make up for the previous night when rain halted a scoreless standoff with the Pirates in the sixth inning.

Change of plans

The three-game series with the Pirates should have been a chance for the Cardinals to secure their position in the National League East Division race, but instead it turned out to be a continuation of a slide out of contention.

The Cardinals’ woes began a few days earlier at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cardinals (76-63) were 1.5 games behind the Cubs (78-62) entering the three-game weekend series. The Cubs won two of three and the Cardinals returned home to face the Pirates (63-79).

Held to a total of three runs, the Cardinals lost the first two games to the Pirates and went into the Sept. 13 series finale 4.5 games behind the Cubs.

The Wednesday night game matched starting pitchers Doug Drabek of the Pirates and Jose DeLeon of the Cardinals. They waged a scoreless duel before the game was called off because of rain with one out in the top of the sixth. Boxscore

The game, to be replayed entirely, was rescheduled for 12:35 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. With little notice of an unscheduled game for a day when many were at work or school, few bought tickets.

In addition to the 1,519 paid attendees, the Cardinals allowed those with ticket stubs from the previous night’s rain-halted game to get in free. The Cardinals said 2,015 people used the free vouchers, bringing the total number of spectators to 3,534.

Stranger things

The few fans were confined to the lower deck of the stadium. The sight of such a small gathering for a Cardinals home game was unsettling to both teams.

“It was almost like a 10 o’clock in the morning game in spring training,” Pirates manager Jim Leyland said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pirates outfielder Andy Van Slyke, a former Cardinal, told the Pittsburgh Press: “I’d have given you my paycheck if you told me I’d have played before 3,500 in Busch Stadium in September with the Cardinals four games out.”

Said Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog: “We’d have done better (in ticket sales) if we’d played the game in Pittsburgh.”

Adding to the weird vibe was the smoke wafting into the stadium from a fire at a burning warehouse nearby. Herzog told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the scene looked to him “like a graveyard with lights.”

Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz noted, “The Cardinals’ season is burning and you could smell it at Busch Stadium.”

Hitting the skids

The game matched pitchers Jeff Robinson, a converted reliever, for the Pirates versus Bob Tewksbury, making his first start as a Cardinal.

The Cardinals led, 2-1, before the Pirates scored three runs in the seventh against relievers Dan Quisenberry and Ken Dayley.

In the ninth, trailing 4-2, the Cardinals scored a run on consecutive doubles by Tim Jones and Ozzie Smith. With Smith on second and one out, Vince Coleman laced a liner, but it was snared by shortstop Jay Bell, who caught Smith venturing too far off second base and turned a game-ending double play. Boxscore

The sweep by the Pirates gave the Cardinals five losses in a row and pushed them 5.5 games behind the Cubs. The Cardinals scored a total of nine runs in those five defeats.

“It’s hard to say when the nail is in the coffin,” Dayley said, “but there isn’t much daylight getting in right now.”

Said Jones: “Luckily, with the way we played, there weren’t 30,000 people in the stands.”

The Cubs (93-69) went on to win the division crown. The Mets (87-75) finished second and the Cardinals (86-76) were third.

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Chris Carpenter capped an unbeatable streak with a nearly unhittable performance.

Ten years ago, on Sept. 7, 2009, Carpenter won his 11th consecutive decision, pitching a one-hitter in a 3-0 Cardinals triumph over the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The win gave Carpenter a season record of 16-3 with a 2.16 ERA.

It was the second one-hitter of Carpenter’s major-league career. The other occurred on June 14, 2005, against his former team, the Blue Jays, at Toronto.

Mow ’em down

The Labor Day game between the Cardinals and Brewers matched Carpenter against David Bush. who had lost his last six decisions.

In the first inning, Carpenter walked Felipe Lopez with two outs. He retired the next 11 batters before Jody Gerut hit a double to deep left field. A left-handed batter, Gerut told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the hit was “dumb luck.”

Carpenter retired another 11 in a row before Craig Counsell led off the ninth with a walk. Corey Patterson batted next and grounded into a double play. Carpenter got Frank Catalanotto to ground out, ending the game.

Albert Pujols provided Carpenter with run support, hitting a two-run double against Bush in the fifth and scoring a run on Matt Holliday’s RBI-single against Mark DiFelice in the eighth. Boxscore

In command

Carpenter struck out 10 and was ahead in the count most of the time.

“I’m not wasting pitches,” Carpenter said to the Post-Dispatch. “I’m trying to get strike one, strike two, strike three as fast as I can, or get you to put the ball in play and let my guys work behind me.”

Said Brewers manager Ken Macha: “That was a clinic on how to move your fastball around, cutting it in, cutting it away, sinking it away from lefties and in on righties while mixing his curveball.”

Gerut, whose hit came on a first-pitch fastball, told the Associated Press, “You just hope you get a mistake because most of the time he puts it where he wants it.”

Carpenter, 34, completed the 2009 season with a 17-4 record and led the National League in ERA at 2.24.

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