Saturday, October 8, 2011
Carpenter shuts out Phillies 1-0 as Cardinals advance to NLCS!
In big playoff games especially elimination games you tend to have great hype heading into the contest. Then once in a while you have a game like this game where the game actually exceeds the hype. In today's game five elimination game which saw the Philadelphia Phillies who are the heavy favorites to win the World Series take on the St.Louis Cardinals who were left for the dead just two weeks ago. You saw two former Cy Young award pitchers in Roy Halladay for the Phillies take on Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals. Both aces and former teammates were terrific as they combined to pitch 17 innings allowing only one run. Carpenter won the matchup with a complete game three-hit shutout to advance the Cardinals. The Cardinals scored early in this contest and that was all the scoring they would need.
In the top half of the eighth inning the Cardinals had a chance to put Halladay and the Phillies away. Carpenter facing his old friend Halladay would actually single to lead off the eighth inning. Furcal tried to bunt and was safe on an error by the Phillies catcher. After a bunt and then Halladay intentionally walked Albert Pujols to face Lance Berkman. The Phillies were down just 1-0 but the Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out. Halladay would show why he is one of the games best pitchers. Halladay went after Berkman with cutters and changup's. On a 2-2 count he busted Berkman inside with a 90 mile per hour cutter for a huge second out for the strikeout. Halladay wasn't out of the jam yet as he still had to face Matt Holliday. Halladay would fall behind in the count 2-0 on Holliday but battled back to pound two more strikes. Then Holliday almost quieted the crowd as he belted the ball to deep left field. Holliday hit it at the end of the bat as Ibanez made the catch in left to keep the game at 1-0. For Halladay who was coming up to bat knew his night was over. Halladay who gave up a run in the first two batters settled down to allow no more runs like he did during game one. His fishing partner Carpenter was pitching so well that Halladay was on the hook for the loss 1-0.
In conclusion, the baseball playoffs had our first stunning upset in years. The Phillies who had four aces were eliminated in the first round. Meanwhile the Cardinals will face off against the Brewers in the NLCS in a battle of the NL central. The Cardinanls led by LaRussa are back in the hunt for yet another championship. This was an incredible first round of playoff baseball. Hopefully the league championship series can follow this up. The Cardinals a team nobody was even talking about just two weeks ago are suddenly just four wins away from the World Series.