Matt Carpenter puts the Cardinals up 1-0 in NLCS Game 2 with a home run

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Matt Carpenter gave the Cardinals an early lead in Game 2 of the NLCS, slugging a solo home run to right field off of Giants starter Jake Peavy. Carpenter had struck out against Peavy in his first at-bat to lead off the game.

Carpenter, who got a curtain call to a cheering St. Louis crowd, now has four home runs in six post-season games this year. Carpenter is batting .364 (8-for-22) with seven extra-base hits. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, Carpenter has become the third lead-off hitter to hit at least four home runs in a single post-season, joining Lenny Dykstra (five in 1993) and Davey Lopes (four in 1978).

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn has shut the Giants out on a pair of hits through three innings thus far.

Koji Uehara has retired

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Jim Allen of Kyodo News reports that Koji Uehara has retired from baseball.

Uehara, 44, has spent the past two seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, which is the where he began his career way back in 1998. He spent eight years there as a starter, winning 20 games in his rookie season, then one year as a closer and one year in swingman duties before coming to the United States.

Once in the majors he pitched for four different major league teams over nine seasons — the Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs — from 2009-2017. In that time he posted an excellent 2.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 572/78 K/BB ratio in 480.2 innings and notched 95 saves. He won a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2013 and was an All-Star in 2014. Uehara’s last big league stint in America with the Cubs in 2017, for whom he posted a 3.98 ERA (111 ERA+) in 49 games.

Happy trails to an excellent reliever.