Carpenter leaves game, gives Cardinals another injury scare

Chris Carpenter(notes) felt a "twinge" in his left hamstring that caused him to leave his Grapefruit League start Tuesday.

His sensation was nothing like the twinge that probably ran up and down the collective spine of the St. Louis Cardinals minutes earlier as he walked off the mound with a trainer.

Here is an account from

Carpenter had breezed through 2 2/3 innings with scarcely a hiccup before he walked Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan(notes). After the final pitch of Coghlan's plate appearance, Carpenter walked off the mound, and head athletic trainer Greg Hauck came out to check on him. With virtually no delay, Carpenter headed for the dugout.

Feelings of dread parted some when Carpenter revealed the injury wasn't to his arm, or that serious. But soon thereafter, right-hander Mitchell Boggs(notes) left the game after clutching his lower back.

The Cardinals have had rotten fortune this spring, also having lost right-hander Adam Wainwright(notes) to season-ending elbow surgery. Infielder Nick Punto(notes) is out at least two months because of a sports hernia.

And one of the owners, Drew Baur, died in February.

Add the lesser but significant stressor of Albert Pujols'(notes) future in St. Louis, and it's been a bitter-tasting Grapefruit League for the Redbirds so far. At least the Carpenter news is mild.

Here's his own take, via FOX Sports Midwest:

"I threw a pitch and felt a little twinge in my hamstring," Carpenter said. "I tried to throw one more and it didn't feel too good so I came out.

"They don't think it's very bad so I'm not concerned with it. ... We'll wait and see tomorrow I'm sure they will know more but what they say it doesn't seem like it's very bad."

"I couldn't throw. The next pitch I could barely put my foot on the ground. I'm not going to blow it out totally just to get through one more out of the first spring training game."

Only a month to go before the Cards blast off from Jupiter (Fla.). Won't come a second too soon, either.

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