Around two weeks ago Matt Carpenter was an All Star Game Final Vote candidate. I wrote about what made him a candidate worthy of our votes. My biggest argument was that he was trending upward and had still made an All Star case despite a pretty terrible start to the season. Craig Edwards of Fangraphs illustrated this point very well:
Matt Carpenter NL WAR ranks by month— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) July 21, 2018
April: 73rd (-0.1 WAR)
May: 8th (1.1)
June: 4th (1.5)
July: 1st (1.6)
Season: 2nd (4.1)
This was most of the feedback the post discussing his All Star candidacy received:
Those posts are from one week ago. Now, let’s look at another Craig Edwards tweet:
Matt Carpenter leads MLB in second half WAR, which is probably obvious.— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) July 22, 2018
He's also now your NL WAR leader for the season.
Good thing he didn't start bunting and slapping singles the other way to "beat" the shift. pic.twitter.com/Ka4FDASfPU
“Undeserving All Star” Matt Carpenter, just out here being the most valuable player in his league. Ho hum. Of course, my whole point here is not to say I told you so (though that is a little bit of it, to be clear), but rather to illustrate how good Matt Carpenter has been during this past week. Here is it spelled out even more, per Fangraphs, from July 14 to July 22:
I highlighted a few things I thought were interesting.
But what is behind this crazy production? Some are claiming it is a mysterious salsa made from vegetables from a garden planted by Adam Wainwright. Per Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:
It [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... this week, for the first time, Carpenter took it on the road.
Of course, with salsa that powerful, everyone else wants to know how to make their own. Carp isn’t telling though. Per Langosch again:
The recipe will remain a secret “in case I ever go into business,” Carpenter said, though he did divulge that it’s not too chunky and a bit on the sweet side. Oh, and he’s packed plenty to get him through the rest of the trip.
”Now it’s becoming a thing,” Carpenter said. “I’m going to keep eating it until it stops happening.”
The good news is Matt Carpenter appears to be sharing it with his teammates. Here is Dexter Fowler after getting a hit on Sunday:
July 22, 2018
Maybe with some hard work, a little luck, and a lot of salsa, this team will turn this season around.
Matt Carpenter makes history with 3 HRs, 2 2Bs | MLB.com
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