St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter and his “secret sauce” may soon be tested for PED’s because he has been out of this world hot at the plate.
On May 15th, 2018, Matt Carpenter finished a game at Minnesota going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts adding on to a horrific start to his season.
His slash line was .140/.286/.272 compiling to a .558 OPS. However, from that point on, his season pulled a complete 180-degree turn. As of today, 59 games later, his slash line is .277/.386/.589 totaling to a .975 OPS. So, what in the world happened?
Well, reports are out that Adam Wainwright may be the supplier of some “Secret Sauce” that has paved the way for Matt Carpenter’s remarkable home run streak. Apparently, before their road trip after the All-Star break against the Cubs, Wainwright gave Carpenter some of his homemade salsa.
On the road trip, Carpenter went 9 for 17 with 5 home runs, two doubles, nine runs batted in, and eight runs scored. On the second game of the series he went off going 5 for 5 with 3 home runs, two doubles, compiling 16 total bases, seven runs batted in, and four runs scored.
He became just the 23rd batter in the history of the game to have that many total bases in a game, and it only took him six innings in the 18-5 win against the Cubs.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 14, 2018
Interim Manager Mike Shildt pulled him due to the doubleheader that was to be played the following day.
Here are the impressive numbers and legends that he tied or eclipsed on this stretch:
- 3rd MLB batter to have 16 total bases in a game, first St. Louis Cardinals batter.
- 14th MLB batter to have 5 extra-base hits in a game, becoming the first St. Louis
- Cardinals batter and tying the Cubs Kris Bryant as the only players with 3 home runs and two doubles in the Modern Era.
- 21st Career leadoff home run tying the Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock for the team record.
- On the same date in 2004, Albert Pujols went 5 for five against the Cubs with 3 home runs, 15 total bases, and six runs batted in and scoring four runs.
- 23rd MLB batter to have homered for six straight games tying the Cardinals record held by Mark McGwire in 1997.
Let’s go back to that “Secret Sauce.” Word spread throughout the clubhouse what Carpenter was doing to be successful and that the salsa was the necessary ingredient to his performance on the field. Dexter Fowler decided to taste some of the salsa, and it worked for him as well.
He went 2 for 3 reaching base three times on Sunday’s game versus the Cubs, and after his first hit, he pointed in the dugout at Carpenter acting like he was scooping in the salsa.
Well, it worked.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 22, 2018
Fowler was not the only other player to be impacted by the “Secret Sauce’ too. Cardinals closer Bud Norris also had a taste of the salsa before the game he provided the team with a save on the second game on Saturday after the incredible comeback. He gave credit to the salsa admitting it helped him.
Adam Wainwright may be sidelined with his continued ailing arm injury, but even from afar Uncle Charlie is still impacting the team. So, on behalf of Cardinals Nation, we sincerely thank you Mr. Wainwright, and we expect that your garden will keep producing for the club down the stretch.
Matt Carpenter has had an incredible stretch of games since May 15th and put himself in the MVP race. According to my Predator Statistical database, he has been the 8th most productive hitter in baseball with 2.78 PWAR (Predator Wins Above Replacement) and is 2nd in the National League to Nolan Arenado.
My top 10 PWAR list in baseball:
- Mike Trout– 3.88
- Mookie Betts– 3.80
- Jose Ramirez– 3.67
- J.D Martinez- 3.26
- Nolan Arenado- 2.94
- Manny Machado– 2.82
- Aaron Judge– 2.78
- Matt Carpenter- 2.78
- Francisco Lindor– 2.66
- Freddie Freeman- 2.52
That is an impressive list for Matt Carpenter to be on. Will he continue to be hot, who knows? We are going to have to wait and see, but as of right now he must be in the MVP talks after this recent stretch of games.
His value has surged up there with players that are considered the best in the game.
Either way, what a pleasure to have been able to watch this outbreak of power and showcasing his beautiful craft of hitting in the series against the Cubs.
It will be up there as one of the greatest games and streaks of all time. It is your world Matt Carpenter, and we are just living in it.