St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter looks to become the major league’s first 14-game winner as he squares off against fellow All-Star Roger Clemens and the Houston Astros in the finale of their three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Carpenter won a career-high 15 games last year but nerve damage in his right biceps prevented him from pitching in the postseason.
Carpenter has won his last five starts, limiting the opposition to just two runs over 41 2-3 innings while lowering his ERA to 2.51—fourth-best in the NL.
“Carpenter is just unbelievable,” teammate and fellow All-Star Albert Pujols said. “I (talk) to some guys (when they are) coming down to first base and they (tell me) ‘This guy is so nasty.’ When you hear guys on the other side saying that, he has something good going.”
Clemens will counter for the Astros, who have lost the first two games of this series, including a 4-2 defeat on Saturday.
The veteran right-hander—who pitched a scoreless inning in Tuesday’s All-Star game—hasn’t lost since May 30, a span of seven starts.
His last start, a 3-2 Houston win over the Dodgers on July 8, was another example of Clemens pitching well but not getting a decision.
The 42-year-old right-hander has allowed four runs once, a 6-4 win over the Cardinals on June 5.
Clemens has pitched impressively against the Cardinals, going 4-0 with a 2.58 ERA in seven career starts.