Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter is done for the year.â†µ
Chris Carpenter to have season-ending surgery.â†µ
Carpenter had been dealing with neck and shoulder issues.â†µ
The Cardinals and Reds appear to be the Pirates' chief competition in the NL Central right now. While you never want to see a player get injured, but the Cardinals' loss of a pitcher who has finished in the top three in Cy Young voting three times bolsters the Pirates' chances, even though the Cards have a pretty strong rotation even without Carpenter.â†µ
The Reds currently lead the division, with the Pirates one game back and the Cards 2.5 games back. The Cardinals have probably been the best team in the National League so far this year, though, scoring 63 more runs than they've allowed. (The Reds are at +39 and the Pirates +15.) The Bucs managed to hang in the race through the first two months of the season despite not actually playing that well. Now, they're genuinely playing good baseball, but they'll need to continue to do so, since neither the Reds nor Cardinals are likely to disappear.â†µ
For more on Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals, check out Viva El Birdos. For more on the Pirates, there's Bucs Dugout.