St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter played a particularly large role in last year's Cardinals-Reds brawl, and he's good friends with Jason LaRue, the backup catcher forced into retirement by a concussion he suffered at the hands—well, feet—of Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto, but he has plenty of impersonal reasons to desire a win Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Here's one: He still doesn't have a win, a year after going 16-9 in a league-leading 35 starts.
He's pitched well enough to deserve one three times, including last week's seven-shutout-innings loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in which he struck out six without allowing a walk, but it just hasn't happened.
The Reds will respond with Travis Wood, who's been on-and-off in four starts to date. One and three: 13 2/3 innings, two earned runs, and 12 strikeouts against just three walks. Two and four: 8 1/3 innings, seven earned runs, five walks. All starts considered he's 1-2 with an ERA of 5.73, and he'll look to avenge the beating he took at the hands—well, bats—of the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday against the Cardinals.