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Chris Carpenter Could Not Be Any Less Lucky

St. Louis Cardinals fans have been whispering about Chris Carpenter's future ever since he failed to dominate quite as much as Adam Wainwright in 2010 after their first season as co-aces, and even without Wainwright's example to not-quite live up to the whispers have gotten even louder in 2011. Blame his 1-7 record, sure, but there's also the matter of his 4.47 ERA, which is brutal in this offensively challenged season. Lay the blame on this: After two months, Carpenter's luck, as we know it in baseball circles, has still failed to even out.

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In Friday's ugly loss to the Kansas City Royals, Carpenter went eight innings, struck out seven against just one walk, and allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits. 

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That's not supposed to happen! Carpenter's strikeout and walk rates are solidly better than they were in 2010, and his fastball hasn't lost a step, but when a ball reaches the field of play in 2011 it's gone past defenders, often at the worst possible moment. Given the way he's pitched, Carpenter's ERA should be closer to 3.50 than 4.50—forget about his record. 

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As for the canonical 1-7 start in Cardinals history, John Tudor was 6-0 in June after going 1-7 in April and May. Tudor's peripherals were mediocre until he found another gear in his 20-1 finish, topping out in a 33 strikeout, three walk July. But his BAbip numbers were low all year...

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