ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter approached the plate in the eighth inning with Brandon Moss and Kolten Wong on the basepaths. As the count ran full, Carpenter's night went from satisfactory to sensational in one swing.The Cardinals' third baseman launched a three-run homer 407 feet from home plate and into
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter approached the plate in the eighth inning with Brandon Moss and Kolten Wong on the basepaths. As the count ran full, Carpenter's night went from satisfactory to sensational in one swing.
The Cardinals' third baseman launched a three-run homer 407 feet from home plate and into the right-center-field bleachers, as projected by Statcast™, to cap the scoring in Thursday's 13-7 victory over the Rockies. It was one final shot on an explosive night at the plate for the Cardinals, who captured the series.
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The blast followed Carpenter's double in the second inning to score Randal Grichuk and another in the fourth to plate two more runs. Carpenter is the first Cardinal since Red Schoendienst in 1953 to record two doubles, a home run and six RBIs in a single game.
Somehow, Carpenter managed to remain humble after his performance.
"If you have six RBIs and we don't win, it's not fun," Carpenter said. "It's all about winning games and helping the team do that and being a part of it."
Carpenter is the first Cardinals leadoff hitter since Shawon Dunston in 2000 to have six RBIs in a single game.
"He's just been in a good spot," manager Mike Matheny said. "Early on, he had some balls he was making a good pass at and just fell off. You could tell he was getting frustrated. It's nice to see him take off right now."
The night skyrocketed Carpenter's average up 13 points to .259, but it's still nowhere close to his ceiling. Last year through 41 games, he was batting .313 with 46 hits -- eight more than he has right now.
Matheny is well aware that, even after Thursday night, there is still a better version of Carpenter out there.
"I think that batting average is probably not where he needs it to be, not where he'd like it to be," Matheny said. "We saw some swing-and-misses early in the season. Once again, probably on some pitches he could have done damage with. Just being a click off put him into compromised counts. Right now, this is the guy we know we have. I'm anxious to watch him keep this good feel for a long time."
Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.