Chris Carpenter, injury prone though he is, has managed to cultivate a reputation that transcends the nearly four full seasons he's missed since joining the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2003: Angry, Clutch Guy. Angry because he is either yelling or about to yell at all times, and has been since birth, or at least 2004. (There's even a novelty Twitter account.) Clutch because he pitched the Cardinals into the NLCS with a gorgeous three-hit shutout of the Roy Halladay-led Phillies, and then proceeded to grind his arm into dust in the NLCS and World Series.â†µ
Angry-clutch because he's managed to force himself back into a Wild Card race despite missing most of the season after having his rib removed to relieve the thoracic outlet syndrome that had hounded him all year.
This isn't a Chuck Norris thing, because ribs can stop Chris Carpenter. So can elbow ligaments, shoulder problems, all kind of things. They just can't stop him forever. At some point, no matter how gruesome the injury, Chris Carpenter is going to swear his way back into the Cardinals rotation. And at that point, if you're Joe Kelly, all you can say is, "Well, I guess I'd better try to win that bullpen job."â†µ