Just one out into the top of the first inning in the opening game of the 2011 World Series, Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter set the tone with a reckless, headlong dive to record an out at first base.
With one away and the bases clear, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball to Albert Pujols. The Cards' first baseman ranged to his right to field the ball, leaving Carpenter to cover the bag. Pujols led Carpenter with a throw toward the base, but the toss was just a bit too far ahead for the pitcher to catch it in stride. Rather than relent and let the speedy Andrus reach, the 6-foot-6 right-hander dove -- making a backhanded catch along the way -- for the bag. Carpenter hits the ground and skids over the bag just before Andrus gets there. To his credit, Andrus nimbly avoided stomping on Carpenter as he was splayed across the base. As his team's trainers looked out wearily, Carpenter got up and smiled. Aside from a scrape on his left elbow -- that wasn't nearly as severe as the FOX broadcasters might have you believe -- Carpenter seems no worse for wear from the play.
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