Chris Carpenter (born April 27, 1975 in Exeter, New Hampshire) is a starting pitcher in Major League who has played for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2003. Carpenter was 22 years old and a highly-regarded prospect when he broke into the majors in 1997 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He would stay with Toronto until after the 2002 season, when the Cardinals took a big gamble.
The Cardinals signed Carpenter prior to the 2003 season. Unfortunately, Carpenter was forced to sit out the entire 2003 season due to arm problems. However, Carpenter came back with an impressive 2004, helping the Cardinals win the National League pennant for the first time since 1987. Arm problems resurfaced, though, and forced him to miss the entire 2004 postseason in which the Cardinals eventually played against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
Returning with full health, Carpenter had a breakout 2005 season. He posted a 21-5 record (a career high in wins), while also achieving career bests in ERA (2.83), strikeouts (213), innings pitched (241.7), complete games (7) and shutouts (4). This time, Carpenter was healthy for the postseason. And although the Cardinals lost to the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series, he pitched very well throughout the postseason, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings against the San Diego Padres and Houston.
Carpenter was selected for and started the All-Star Game in 2005, a season in which he also won the Cy Young Award.