'Super awesome' Chris Carpenter

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carpenter_090907.jpgYou’ve heard the names thrown out there regarding the NL Cy Young race.

Tim Lincecum, the reigning Cy winner and MLB strikeout leader who has a flair for hair. Adam Wainwright, who leads all of baseball with 17 wins. Heck, even Phillies rookie J.A. Happ has received some buzz.

But look out everyone, here comes Chris Carpenter.

The Cardinals veteran tossed a one-hitter on Monday, baffling the Milwaukee Brewers with a non-stop string of strikes. He struck out 10, allowed just a double to Jody Gerut, and threw just 99 pitches, 64 of them for strikes. Just two balls made it out of the infield.

“I’m trying to get strike one, strike two and strike three as fast as I can, or get you to put the ball in play and let my guys work behind you,” he said.

That’s 11 straight victories for Carpenter (16-3), who also won the NL Cy Young in 2005.

“It’s the least of my concerns,” said Carpenter, who won it in 2005 with a 21-5 record. “I’ve won one before. It’s super awesome and fun and nice, but I’d much rather get to the playoffs and pitch in the World Series.”

He just might be on his way.

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Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.