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Chris Carpenter bested Roy Halladay with a masterful three hit shutout as the Phillies once magical season ends in bitter fashion. Halladay gave up a first inning run and matched Carpenter from there on out, but it wasn’t enough as the Phillies bats went silent once again. Ryan Howard grounded on the final playing, ending a miserable series for him mired in an 0-14 slump. Howard actually fell down injured before he could even reach first base and had to be helped off the field.
The worst part of the night was that the Phillies never really threatened. Carpenter mowed through the lineup with relative ease needing only 110 pitches to get through nine innings. The aforementioned Howard looked lost, Carlos Ruiz continued his slump, Hunter Pence capped a disappointing series with an 0-fer and Placido Polanco is so injured that he was basically a free out every time he came up. You certainly have to question the judgment of Charlie Manuel in playing him. No doubt he brings a plus glove, but almost anyone would have represented a greater threat at the plate as the sports hernia simply robbed him of all ability to hit the ball with power.
The only two guys that really did show up tonight were of course Roy Halladay who threw 8 innings of one run ball striking out 7 and Shane Victorino, who went 2-3 and hit .316 for the series.
Howard and Polanco both hit .105 in the series. Pence hit .211, Raul Ibanez .200 and Carlos Ruiz .059.
After setting a franchise record with 102 wins, the Phillies are one and done. On one hand, that is the dangerous nature of a five game series in baseball. I don’t think many people would say that the Cardinals are a better team than the Phillies, but you don’t have to be in a short series. They got key hits and of course got an amazing start from their ace in the deciding game. That said, after such a great season, being one and done has to been seen as a massive disappointment.
Now this Phillies team that the city has really come to know and love could look very different. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Raul Ibanez and Roy Oswalt are all scheduled to be free agents. Ryan Howard will certainly have major questions asked of him given the way he ended his season and the fact he is just starting a $125 million contract.
CSNPhilly’s Ruben Frank tweeted out a stat that seems apropos to end with. Over the last 17 innings of this postseason, the Phillies managed just one run and seven hits.
The Phillies will send Roy Halladay to the hill for a decisive game five tonight in Philadelphia. First pitch is at 8:37pm on TBS. Halladay will be opposed by his longtime friend Chris Carpenter, who the Philllies beat in game one. Carpenter says he’s looking forward to facing his old Blue Jays teammate again.
“It’s been a pretty good friendship for a long time,” Carpenter said. “We’ve pitched together, we’ve vacationed together, we communicate a bunch during the offseason and during the season. He just invited me to go fishing this winter, so I mean, we’ve got a real good relationship. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Halladay turned in an interesting start in game one. Things got off to the worst possible start when he served up a 3-run homer to Lance Berkman in the first inning, but he bounced back and dominated from that point on, sitting down the last 21 batters he faced. This is the kind of game the Phillies went out and got Roy Halladay to pitch. As the reigning Cy Young winner for the best team in baseball, the pressure is clearly on the Phils here, but Roy isn’t letting himself get too wrapped up in it.
“I don’t think you can get too caught up in what game it is, and what it means,” Halladay said. “I think if you go out thinking: ‘Wow, this is everything, all-in-one,’ I think it can make too much out of it.”
Tony LaRussa says that the matchup of these two pitchers in an elimination game like this could make for a classic.
“Well, it may be a better word, but I think classic. I don’t know, I thought about it seriously when we were on the second game, so there was a realistic chance to make it happen. I think it’s just fascinating because we were talking to some people yesterday, it’s not just a match-up of two great pitchers, it’s their background together. I don’t know if it’s ever happened in an elimination game like this that two guys who were teammates, Minor League, Major League, still maintain a friendship, this may be the first time ever”
After this record breaking season, Phils fans likely won’t accept anything less than another parade, but there’s no doubt that no one would be happy with a one and done. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel recognizes this, calling it the biggest game they’ve played all year.
“Yeah, basically tomorrow is the biggest game that we’ve played. I mean, this is the biggest game of the season that we’re going to play is tomorrow. And what you see is our guys can come out — they can come out in a really relaxed frame of mind, really pumped up and ready to play, as long as they can control their adrenaline and everything, and they can concentrate on staying focused on what they’re doing in the game, and we can take it to them, and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Manuel says that he thinks the situation lines up nicely for them.
“I think tomorrow’s setting here is ideal for us. We’re in our ballpark, and we’re going to have a full house, and everything is going to be going for us. I think basically what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to just be ourselves and play like we can, and I think that the results will be there. "
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – David Freese finished 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and drove in four as the St. Louis Cardinals forced a fifth and deciding game in their NL Division Series with a 5-3 decision over Philadelphia.
“The thing about David that makes him such a big run-producer now than in his whole career is he [hits to] left-center, right-center, and he can take the ball inside and pull it,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa of Freese. “And he can hit the ball outside and hit it to right field. You might get him, but he’s capable of making the adjustment. And as he gets more experience, he’s going to be a hellacious winning player.”
Skip Schumaker added two hits with a run scored and Lance Berkman posted an RBI double and scored once for the Cardinals, who recovered from Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to even the set at two games apiece.
Making his first postseason start, Edwin Jackson (1-0) overcame a shaky first inning, settling down to scatter five hits and two runs while fanning four in six innings.
Jason Motte completed a six-pitcher effort by turning in a perfect ninth to earn his second save.
Chase Utley posted an RBI triple and Hunter Pence notched a run-scoring single — both in the first inning — for the Phillies, who are facing a deciding playoff contest for the first time in 30 years.
Roy Oswalt (0-1) was tasked with helping send the five-time defending NL East champions into the next round. He ultimately failed, charged in defeat with five runs on six hits despite five strikeouts over six full frames.
The deciding contest will be Friday night in Philadelphia. Game 1 winner Roy Halladay goes for the Phils, opposed by Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.
“If you don’t like to play in Philadelphia, something is wrong with you,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “And if we can’t get up for Game 5 in the playoffs, then so be it. That’s kind of how I look at it. We’re going to be up, and we’re going to show up, and we’re going to be ready to play.”
Already ahead by a run, the home team picked up valuable insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Holliday, who made his first start in the series after missing four games with an injured finger, hit a one-out single and Freese provided a 5-2 margin when he launched a two-out, two-run blast to center.
Philly closed the gap to 5-3 in the eighth as pinch-runner Michael Martinez came in on a Fernando Salas wild pitch with one out. The visitors stranded a runner on second after Pence grounded out and Ryan Howard struck out against Marc Rzepczynski.
And then the club which collected the most wins in baseball couldn’t muster a baserunner against Motte in the ninth. Cards center fielder Jon Jay added some flair to the final out by making a diving catch of a Placido Polanco liner.
The Phillies jumped on Jackson in the first, thanks to three consecutive hits to begin the game. Jimmy Rollins slammed a ground-rule double to center and Utley drove him in with a triple. Pence’s solid single to center made it 2-0, but Pence was caught stealing as Howard fanned looking, then Shane Victorino flied out to end the rally.
The Cardinals responded in the home portion to halve their deficit. Schumaker singled with one out and Berkman doubled off the wall in right-center. Schumaker eventually came around to score when Victorino slipped and fell while attempting to deliver his relay throw.
In the fourth, Berkman worked a leadoff walk and Holliday was plunked on the elbow. Pence initially misjudged — then caught — a Yadier Molina liner which left runners on the corners, but Freese’s double down the left-field line plated both for a 3-2 St. Louis edge.
A squirrel briefly interrupted play in the bottom of the fifth inning, just after Oswalt delivered a pitch to Schumaker. Oswalt argued with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez, apparently asking for no pitch after the squirrel ran across the home plate area. Schumaker then flied out.
“There’s not too much I can do about a squirrel running across the field,” quipped Manuel. “I don’t know if I can — I don’t know what I can do about that. Of course being from the south and being a squirrel hunter, if I had a gun there, might have did something. I’m a pretty good shot.”
Utley’s leadoff walk in the sixth went for naught as he was cut down by first baseman Albert Pujols while trying to reach third on a fielder’s choice by Pence. Howard followed with a fly to center and Victorino grounded out.
“He’s always got an awareness of what the score is, and that was classic, and that’s part of his greatness,” La Russa said of his first baseman’s awareness on the crucial play.
St. Louis improved to 22-10 all-time in Division Series contests, while Philadelphia fell to 13-10 in NLDS tilts…The Cards also upped their record in NLDS Game 4’s to 4-0…Pujols finished 0-for-4 in what could have been his final home game as a Cardinal…Oswalt fell to 5-1 in 11 career playoff starts…Prior to Wednesday, he was just the second pitcher in MLB history (Orel Hershiser, 1985-95) to go undefeated in his first 10 postseason outings…Howard, 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, is just 2-for-15 and has fanned six times in the series…The Phillies, then defending World Series champions, lost that deciding Game 5 of the 1981 Division Series against Montreal at home…Philly did win a deciding Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS in Houston against the Astros and topped the Royals in the Fall Classic…Schumaker, who was removed from the game for Ryan Theriot in the sixth inning, suffered a left hamstring cramp and is day-to-day.
The Phillies will send Roy Oswalt to the hill tonight as they look to close out the Cardinals in their best of five national league divisional series. The game will be on TBS on 6pm. If the Phils advance, it will be their fourth straight NLCS appearance. Oswalt is certainly a guy with a wealth of playoff pitching experience with a 5-1 career postseason record and a 3.39 ERA. While with the Astros, he also eliminated the Cardinals in 2005.
"It's funny, six years later and I'm kind of in the same spot," said Oswalt. "I'm back in St. Louis and trying to move onto the next round."
Oswalt last faced the Cardinals on September 17th, when he threw 7 scoreless innings and says he feels positive about this game and where he's at health wise right now.
"I feel like I can still compete," Oswalt said. "When you get to the point where you don't feel like you can compete, that's when you start doubting about pitching. I actually have a few more pitches than I did when I first started. I feel like I can do it another three or four or five years."
Lil Roy will be opposed by righty Edwin Jackson, who gave up five runs in five innings in his only career start against the Phillies (last season). Facing this lineup of lefties is never an easy task for a righty starter, which Jackson understands, but that doesn't mean he's afraid.
"They have a lot of depth in the lineup, and there's really no easy outs," Jackson said. "You just have to go out and be aggressive, but at the same time, you can't give them too much credit. You have to have confidence in your pitches, and at the end of the day, either you get it done or you don't -- there's no in between."
Cole Hamels turned in a great start, Ben Francisco provided the offense and Ryan Madson came up huge in the late innings as the Phillies beat the Cardinals 3-2 to take a commanding 2-1 lead in this best of five NDLS.
The man of the hour has to be Ryan Madson, who earned the five out save in what is the definition of a "high leverage situation." Charlie Manuel opted to bring on Madson with the bases loaded and one out in the 8th inning. With Albert Pujols waiting in the on deck circle, Madson got Allen Craig to ground into an inning ending double play to get the Phils out of a huge jam and send them into the 9th with a 3-1 lead. Madson stayed in for the ninth to face the heart of the Cardinal lineup, and allowed one run but finally got Ryan Theriot (who was 4-4 at the time) out to end the game.
Cole Hamels got the start and was also fantastic throwing six innings of scoreless ball, allowing just five hits and striking out 8. He threw a lot of pitches and worked deep into counts, but in the end the zero on the scoreboard was all that mattered. And really, Cole dominated the Cardinals lineup outside of Albert Pujols and Ryan Theriot. He couldn’t seem to get either out, but neither ever came up in a big spot with guys in scoring position so they never really hurt.
The other man of the night is certainly Ben Francisco. In the top of the seventh with one on and two out, Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa opted to walk Carlos Ruiz to get to the pitchers spot. Charlie Manuel countered by bringing in the righty Ben Francisco to face lefty Jamie Garcia, who prior to the 7th had allowed just four hits. As you know by now, Manuel bested LaRussa in this little battle. Francisco lined a pitch into the left field seats to put the Phillies up 3-0, a lead they would never relinquish.
The Phils will look to close things out tomorrow night at 5:07 eastern with Roy Oswalt the likely starter. The Cardinals will likely go to Edwin Jackson in an attempt to stave off elimination.
After six innings of five hit, scoreless ball in which is struck out eight, the Phillies pinch hit for Cole Hamels in the top of the seventh. That turned out to be a very good decision. With two out and two on Ben Francisco lined a pitch into the left field seats to break the 0-0 deadlock and give the Phillies a lead in this crucial game three.
Prior to the seventh, the Phils had managed only 4 hits off Cardinals’ starter Jamie Garcia, but Shane Victorino led off the inning with a single and was able to advance on a passed ball. Garcia would manage to retire the next two batters, but Tony LaRussa decided to walk Carlos Ruiz to get to the pitchers spot. Charlie Manuel countered with Ben Francisco and three runs later Charlie looks like the guy who made the right call.
The Cardinals did get a run back in the bottom of the 7th, so it’s 3-1 Phillies as we head into the bottom of the 8th.
The Phillies now head on the road for game three of the NLDS as they look to take a commanding 2-1 lead in the five game series against the Cardinals. The game will be tonight at 5:07 on TBS. The Phils will send 2011 All Star and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels to the hill to face Jaime Garcia.
Hamels had a fantastic year going 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and has generally been very good in the postseason, with a 3.33 career mark over 12 postseason starts. Hunter Pence says the team feels confident with Cole on the hill.
"He's got that instinct when he gets on the mound, that put-'em-away instinct," said Pence. "The big-moment pitcher."
Cole has been a bit spotty over the last month however, particularly when it comes to the long ball. He's allowed nine homers in the month of September. Cole said this week that the Cardinals can hurt you in more ways than just the long ball however.
"I think their lineup, they definitely know how to manufacture hit after hit after hit, and I think that's how they really get you going," Hamels said. "They don't just survive off the long ball, even though they're capable of doing that. They definitely know how to play small ball. I think it's just making good pitches, and we do have one of the top defenses, so [it's just a matter of] letting our guys field the ball, and making plays."
He'll face off against Jaime Garcia, who has been huge in two starts against the Phils this year, with a 0.69 ERA. He will be making his first career postseason start, but doesn't see it as a big difference from the regular season.
"It's the same baseball. To me, it's the same thing -- same preparation, same stuff I've got to do to go out there and worry about the things I've been worrying about the whole year," Garcia said. "One of the biggest things I've learned in this game is you've got to keep it as simple as possible as you can, so that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow."
I know everyone tries to play it cool this time of year, but don't kid yourself Jamie. It's not the same thing.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Allen Craig tripled and scored the go- ahead run in the seventh inning, and the Cardinals used a strong bullpen effort to secure a 5-4 victory over the Phillies and even their National League Division Series at a game apiece.
St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter, pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career, lasted only three innings and allowed four runs. But six pitchers combined to hold Philadelphia to one hit the rest of the way, giving the Cardinals’ offense a chance to erase the deficit.
They did, scoring all five runs against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.
Craig, starting in place of the injured Matt Holliday, began the seventh with the triple to center and scored on Albert Pujols’ base hit. The run sent the Cardinals to the victory and give them a chance to take the series lead Tuesday at home in Game 3.
The city of Philadelphia looks to Cliff Lee to calm their frayed nerves while St Louis turns to Chris Carpenter in an attempt to save their season tonight in NLDS game two at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is at 8:05 on TBS. Philly fans are certainly ready for this game tonight. In fact, as the seconds ticked off the Eagles third straight fourth quarter collapse this afternoon, the crowd at the Linc erupted into chants of “Let’s Go Phillies.” While it was likely more meant as derision toward the Eagles more than anything, the Phils certainly have to appreciate that not many years ago people would do Eagles chants at their games. Not anymore. This town is red through and through.
The decision to send Carpenter to the hill in this game is certainly a desperate one for Tony LaRussa and the Cards. This will be the first time in his career that he will go on short rest. If he falters, they’ll be facing elimination having already played their only real trump card. Cliff Lee says that he respects Carpenter for going on three days rest.
“I think we should all be able to do it,” he said. “Every pitcher back in the day did it all the time. Obviously, this is a very routine-oriented game, and once you’ve established a routine that you’re going to pitch every five days and you get off that, it can feel different. If you’re an extreme competitor like Carpenter is, you’re willing to do things like that.”
Cliff Lee has pitched against the Cardinals four times and is 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA in those games.
The game certainly didn’t start out the way Roy Halladay planned it, but after a rough first inning Doc settled in for a dominant performance as the Phillies scored an emphatic 11-6 victory to claim game one of the NLDS.
Halladay served up a 3-run homer to Lance Berkman in the first inning to put the Phils in an early hole. After giving up a single to lead off the second, Halladay would not even allow a baserunner the rest of the way. The Phils offense also took its time to wake up as Kyle Lohse threw five innings of one run ball heading into the sixth. That’s where things unraveled for Lohse and the Cards. The Phils offense exploded for 10 runs over the next three innings including a 3-run bomb from Ryan Howard to put the Phils ahead in the sixth.
After gaining control in the sixth inning, the Phillies just cruised. They poured on five more runs over the 6th and 7th while Halladay continued to dominate. With an 8 run lead heading into the 9th, Charlie Manuel opted to pull Halladay after 105 pitches. He went with Mike Stutes for mop up duty, but the rookie ended up loading the bases and was charged with three runs. Ryan Madson then came on and struck out Jon Jay and Matt Holliday to shut the door. The final three runs were cosmetic at best, but certainly a lot of Phils fans were scratching their head as to why Halladay wasn’t left in to finish the complete game.
Halladay was asked during the week if he had any praise for the Cardinals and how they had played over the last month. He decided to quite Shakespeare in his response.
"I heard a quote a long time ago: ‘I came here to bury Caesar, not to praise him.’
Doc gave up 3 runs on 3 hits over 8 innings, striking out 8. The Phils claim a 1-0 lead in the five game series and send Cliff Lee to the hill tomorrow in game two at 8pm.
Both Rollins and Pence reached on singles to center field, and Howard worked a full count before hitting Kyle Lohse’s eighth pitch of the at bat into the stands.
Shane Victorino then ripped one down the right field line that would have been long enough for a home run, but it was foul. Three pitches later, he singled on a ground ball up the middle.
With the crowd still cheering from Ryan Howard’s home run, Raul Ibanez turned on a 2-0 changeup, lining the ball into the right field seats.
Kyle Lohse has been yanked from the game. After setting down the first 10 Phillies in order, Lohse gave up 7 hits, 1 walk, and 6 runs (5 earned) in two innings of work.
Octavio Dotel has taken over pitching duties for the Cardinals.
The Phillies scored in the bottom of the fourth inning, bringing the game to 3-1
With one out, Chase Utley ripped a line drive off the top of the right field fall for a double. Hunter Pence then struck out, and Kyle Lohse pitched around Ryan Howard before putting him on first with a four pitch walk.
Up came Shane Victorino with runners on first and second. With two strikes, Shane popped up foul down the left field line, but David Freese dropped it. After fouling another pitch off, Victorino ground one in the hole at short, scoring Chase Utley.
Lohse has now thrown 45 pitches through four innings, and the Phillies will send Polanco, Ruiz, and Halladay to the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
After a lead-off single by Rafael Furcal, the shortstop stole second base. Allen Craig then struck out, but with first base open, Roy Halladay pitched around Albert Pujols, walking him on four pitches.
It was then that Lance Berkman stepped to the plate and crushed the first pitch he saw into the stands.
It’s now the end of the third, with Kyle Lohse getting nine outs and giving up zero hits on only 22 pitches.
The Phillies host the Cardinals tonight at Citizens Bank Park for game one of the National League Divisional Series. The game begins at 5:07pm and can be seen on TBS. Calling the game will be Dick Stockton and Bob Brenly. Game two of the series will also be on TBS and will begin at 8pm, pitting the game up against Sunday night football on NBC, but not conflicting with the Eagles game at 1pm.
The Yankees will not surprisingly get top billing as they played last night at 8:30 and will again take on the Tigers in that slot tonight. The least interesting game from a TV market perspective is of course the Arizona vs Milwaukee matchup which takes place today at 2pm, and takes the NFL head on tomorrow at 4:30.
TBS will send their top team of Brian Anderson, John Smoltz and Ron Darling to New York. Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez will call the Tampa Bay vs Texas series. Calling the Rays series should be fun for Orsillo, who normally calls Red Sox games... Victor Rojas and Joe Simpson get the Diamondbacks-Brewers series.
The Phillies begin their postseason campaign tonight as they welcome the St Louis Cardinals to Citizens Bank Park for game one of the NLDS tonight
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