Eighteen times in this early season, Matt Carpenter has led off an inning for the St. Louis Cardinals. In those plate appearances, Carpenter is batting .375 (6-16) and with four doubles and a pair of walks.
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
“Last year, I felt like I kind of tried to hit like a lead-off hitter and kind of got away from some of my strengths of being ready to hit early in the count,” said Carpenter. “I’ve kind of gotten back to that and it’s been paying off.”
His two doubles on Friday marked five straight multi-hit games for the third baseman, who promised to be more aggressive in his approach this season.
“I felt like at times last year, I was just passive,” explained Carpenter. “What I mean by being more aggressive, it’s not like jumping at a bunch of first pitches. It’s just being ready to hit throughout the entire at-bat. I felt like at times last year, I wasn’t like that. I felt like I was more looking to walk instead of being a hitter first and letting walks come. That’s kind of where I’ve gotten back to–is just being a hitter. I’ve always been a hitter with a good eye instead of a guy who’s out there looking to work a walk. That’s kind of to where I’ve gotten back and it’s been paying off.”
Besides reaching base in all nine games this season, Carpenter also entered Friday leading the team with a .576 slugging percentage.
His lead off double in the 1st inning on Friday night tied the game 1-1 against Cincinnati when he went airborne to avoid the tag of Reds catcher Brayan Pena.
“Initially, I was going to go right through him,” shared Carpenter. “At the last minute, I just felt the need to go over–honestly, it just was a reaction and it ended up working out.”
“It’s my first somersault ever,” smiled Carpenter, who felt the judges should’ve scored it a 10. “It ended up working out, but hopefully I don’t have to do that too often.”
POOCHES IN THE PARK ON-SALE
–Tickets for the 11th annual “Pooches in the Park” went on-sale today for the event which will be Saturday, June 13th before the Cardinals host the Kansas City Royals. For $150, a dog can join their owner for the game and take home a goodie bag of treats. More information is available online.