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Cardinals blow late lead, lose in Chris Carpenter’s return

Sep 21, 2012, 6:53 PM EDT

Chris Carpenter Getty Images

The good news for the Cardinals is that Chris Carpenter, originally thought to be out for the season after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, turned in a successful five-inning stint Friday in his 2012 debut.

The bad news is that the bullpen blew a two-run lead in the ninth, and the Cards went on to lose to the Cubs 5-4 in 11 innings.

Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer off Fernando Salas with two outs in the ninth to extend the game. Salas was going for the save in place of regular closer Jason Motte, who had the day off after working in all three games in the sweep of Houston.

The Cubs ended it in the 11th when David DeJesus knocked in Brett Jackson with his fourth hit of the day.

Carpenter’s start went off without a hitch. While he wasn’t exactly in midseason form with either his fastball or curve, he held the Cubs scoreless in four of his five innings. He ended up allowing five hits, walking one, striking out two and hitting a batter. His heater was typically in the 88-91 mph range, which is pretty promising considering that he’s still so ahead of schedule in his recovery. Maybe he’ll get back closer to his usual 90-94 mph come playoff time, should the Cardinals advance.

While the loss today snapped the Cardinals’ four-game winning streak, the team remains in position for the second wild card. They’ll end the night with at least a 1 1/2-game lead over the Brewers.

  1. youjivinmeturkey - Sep 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    :*(

  2. salvomania - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    This is kind of hard to believe, but I’m pretty sure this is the cardinals SEVENTH loss this year in which they had the lead with two outs and two strikes in the 9th inning.

    I guess this is payback for last year’s World Series Game 6…. and if so, it’s well worth it!

  3. goldensombrero3000 - Sep 22, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    NO WILD CARD

  4. brewcrewchamps - Sep 22, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Cubs doin the Crew a favor thanks guys!

    The Brewers seriously have a chance of doing this…

  5. westcoastredbird - Sep 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Our Rook Manager just punched his ticket outta town. Appears to have concussion-like symptoms. Would love to see Jose Oquendo as the Cards skipper next year. Learning to be a big league manager on the fly is never a good idea. Having a rook pitching coach isn’t helping either. Matheny can’t manage his bullpen or situations that require managerial experience. Mike’s a great leader, he just not a good major league manager. He should have spent time on the farm!

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