'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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Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.