Cardinals vs. Rangers: Chris Carpenter Finally Looking Like Chris Carpenter

And suddenly, Chris Carpenter is looking sharp.

Early in the game, both starting pitchers were giving up walks and hard contact. On the Cardinals' side, there were a couple of quasi-tough players that David Freese didn't make. None of it added up to runs, though.

The way Carpenter pitched in the top of the fourth, it seems like the jitters or rust spots are gone. He struck out Elvis Andrus to start the inning, and then he got Josh Hamilton looking.

Rule #235 of broadcasting is that when a pitcher throws a front-door sinker, you have to mention Greg Maddux by law. Most of the time it's unwarranted. With that one up there, though ... wow.

With the Cardinals up in the fourth and Carpenter rediscovering his groove, the game is starting to get that common feeling of "Boy, if the Rangers had just gotten to him earlier ..." Chris Carpenter wasn't especially good in the first three innings. He was dominant in the fourth. If the Rangers want to come back, they'll have to deal with the new (old) Carpenter.

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