The beauty of baseball is that you never know when an alleged has-been is suddenly going to become the hottest hitter on the best team in Major League Baseball.
Isn’t that right, Matt Carpenter?
It wasn’t even a month ago that the Texas Rangers released the 36-year-old Carpenter from a minor league deal that had him playing for Triple-A Round Rock. Though the decision was mutual, it still resembled yet another low point for the three-time All-Star after he was one of MLB’s worst hitters in his last two seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals.
When the Yankees picked up Carpenter on May 26, it certainly wasn’t out of desperation. They were already 31-13. They were just having a bit of trouble getting production from the left side of the plate, so the decision to add the veteran’s left-handed stick had a palpable “What the heck?” quality to it.
Three weeks later, the guy just can’t stop hitting home runs.
With six home runs through 10 games with the Yankees, Carpenter needs just one more to match his total for the last 180 games he played with the Cardinals.
“I’ve played the game long enough to know what it feels like and looks like when I’m right,” Carpenter said after launching two homers and driving in seven in an 18-4 blowout of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. “This is certainly that.”
All this hot hitting isn’t going to waste. Whereas the Cardinals went 19-25 in games in which Carpenter started in 2021, the Yankees have won all but one of the seven games he’s started for them this season.