Cardinals 4, Nationals 4

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The lasting image from today’s morning press conference, during which Matt Carpenter’s six-year extension was announced, was of the teammates who streamed in to watch. Sitting in a line of chairs in the back were Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig and Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals had already committed to them as part of the core. Now they welcome Carpenter into the group.

When you talk about wanting to have a nucleus to build around, that’s an impressive group to start with.

The press conference ended humorously, too, with Holliday raising his hand and being called upon by GM John Mozeliak to go ahead with his question.

“With your newfound money,” Holliday began, “are you going to rent Mackenzie a car so she doesn’t have to bring you to the field everyday?”

(side note for commentary: Carpenter gets to the ballpark at 5:30 am)

Carpenter smirked, then deadpanned. “Like I said earlier, there are a lot of sacrifices involved,” he answered. “But yeah, we might look into that.”

It was a perfect way to end a press conference that began with Carpenter nearly choking up as he thanked his wife for her support and sacrifice.

***

For more information on Carpenter’s extension and to read more about his expectations for 2014, go to this story. I think you’ll find some of quotes quite captivating.

***

For the second straight day, the Cardinals played to a tie — though on Saturday they did at least add a 10th inning to try and break in. You can read the game story by clicking here. Both teams traded three-run frames in the eighth.

Michael Wacha made the start, threw 24 pitches in the first two innings and then 27 in his final inning of work. Manager Mike Matheny said he was pleased to see Wacha do a better job of attacking the zone than he had in his previous outing. Wacha was content, too, but would still like to improve with the overall efficiency.

“I went to [a] 3-2 [count] a lot after starting 0-2,” Wacha said. “That’s something that I have to work on instead of just nibbling once I get 0-2. That’s when I start making my pitches really. I really wasn’t that efficient in the third inning, gave up a couple hits.”

On Friday, it was all about the two-seam fastball that both Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright showcased as pitches that they could depend upon more this season. For Wacha, it’s the cutter. He’s already got the four-seam fastball, the changeup and a still-developing curveball. Adding the cutter to the repertoire will only make it harder for hitters to anticipate what’s coming.

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Other odds and ends… Trevor Rosenthal made his spring debut with a scoreless inning. … Zach Petrick made his first appearance since March 2. He pitched two innings but also gave up a three-run homer to minor leaguer Destin Hood. … In needing to get Petrick extended work, Matheny limited Tyler Lyons to one inning. That is not, Matheny said afterward, an indication that Lyons is now targeted for a relief role. His next outing should be for multiple innings. … Oscar Taveras went 0-for-3 in his second start of the spring. … Outfielder Peter Bourjos is scheduled to return to the lineup on Sunday when the Cardinals face the Nationals again.

Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com)

 

1 Comment

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