Matt Carpenter’s current streak of just absurd production started on July 14, with a double and a home run in the middle game of a series against the Reds. He homered again the following night, this time in a win, to enter the All-Star break on a nice two-day run of slugging excellence.
It’s really what he’s done since the All-Star break that stands out, but since these are, after all, consecutive regular season games, the production adds up to one of the more remarkable streaks in recent baseball history. Carpenter smoked another dinger in St. Louis’s first post-break game, running his streak to three games in a row with at least one home run, and then just absolutely exploded on Friday, against the Cubs:
Carpenter’s 5-for-5 day featured three dingers and a pair of doubles, making him just the second player in baseball history to hit three homers and two doubles in one game. And he wasn’t finished! Carpenter played both legs of a Saturday double-header: in the opener, in the third inning, Carpenter took Tyler Chatwood deep for another dinger; and then, in the second game, Carpenter smoked another friggin’ dinger, this time off Randy Rosario. It was the sixth consecutive Cardinals game in which Matt Carpenter has smashed himself at least one tater:
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So Matt Carpenter has now smoked eight dingers in the last six Cardinals games, and raised his slugging percentage by a hilarious 71 percentage points, to a healthy .593, good for seventh-best in the majors. You could fry an egg on Carpenter’s hot bat right now. Carpenter said it’s “hard to put into words” what it feels like to be on such an insane streak, and allowed that his dazzling power might be a product of salsa he’s been making from vegetables grown in a garden planted in his backyard by teammate Adam Wainwright:
[The garden] was a gift from teammate and avid gardener Adam Wainwright, who planted a variety of fruits and vegetables for Carpenter to cook and can.
It was with those ingredients that Carpenter started making homemade salsa, a culinary favorite of the corner infielder. He’d use it with chips, he’d put it on eggs, and, this week, for the first time, Carpenter took it on the road.
“Maybe it’s the salsa?” Carpenter shrugged after the team’s 6-3, Game 2 win. “I don’t know. But I’m going to keep eating it for sure.”
They need to start selling that dang salsa! Share the salsa, Matt.