Matt Carpenter Spills the Peppers on How Salsa Madness Started

You've seen the hashtag and heard the Cardinals players talking about Carpenter's salsa - now hear him explain it.

August 15, 2018 - 11:59 am

ST. LOUS (KMOX) - Sitting inside the Parkway Central Middle School gym, one P.E. teacher took advantage of his chance to ask the St. Louis Cardinals slugger, "How did the whole salsa thing come about?"

Matt Carpenter obliged. 

"I've been making it for years, probably six or seven years. I just enjoy it," Carpenter says. "I eat it on everything." 

From Carpenter's Fort Worth, Texas home, he's been making his salsa by "experimenting and fooling around a bunch" during past offseasons. Since July, he's been making new batches every week from a new garden at his St. Louis home.

The garden was built by his teammate, Adam Wainwright. 

"He's a huge gardener, he's like really into it," Carpenter says. "He's got a massive garden in his house in St. Louis, and he's got a massive one in Georgia where he lives. And I am starting to kind of get into it." 

Per Carpenter's request, since this might be Wainwright's last season in Major League Baseball, the master gardener taught Carpenter as much as he could during Spring Training this year. 

The season began on a low note for Carpenter, who on May 15, was hitting .140 with just three home runs and 13 RBI.

Then, during a road trip in May, Wainwright went to Carpenter's St. Louis home and built the infielder his own garden, planting different vegetables and special plants designed to increase the yield of his salsa ingredients. 

Come mid-July, the Cardinals were eight and half games out of first place, and were heading into a four-game series in Chicago. Carpenter hit six homers in the series, and the #ItsGottaBeTheSalsa hashtag was trending all week in St. Louis.

Carpenter has risen to the top of the NL in home runs, slugging percentage, OPS and extra-base hits, and he's making his case for the league's Most Valuable Player.

"I started making salsa out of (my garden), and it just like started happening that as I was doing that, we started winning and I started playing well," Carpenter says. 

He's now bringing jars for each road trip and homestand, as more and more players are buying in. 

You've had to notice by now the scooping salsa motion after every Cardinals hit. Now you know why.