Phillies Shut Out As Cardinals Win NLDS, Advance To Face Brewers

Chris Carpenter bested Roy Halladay with a masterful three hit shutout as the Phillies once magical season ends in bitter fashion

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Phillies Shut Out As Cardinals Win NLDS, Advance To Face Brewers

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.


Phillies Lose 5-3 As Cardinals Force Decisive Game 5

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.


Phillies 3, Cardinals 2: Hamels, Madson & Francisco Lead Phils To Commanding 2-1 Series Lead

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.


Phillies 11, Cardinals 6: Roy Halladay Buries Caesar As Phils Rout

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.


Ryan Howard Hits Three-Run Homer, Ibanez Hits Two-Run Homer, Phillies Lead 6-3

Ryan Howard crushed a high changeup to the second deck in deep right center field, plating Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence to give the Phillies their first lead of the game.

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.


Phillies Get a Run, Trail 3-1 After Four.

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.


Cardinals Up 3-0 After Three On Lance Berkman Homer

On the first pitch of the at bat, Lance Berkman crushed a middle-in fastball into the right field stands to give the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.

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.

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