Champagne will be on ice when the Philadelphia Phillies try to close out their NLDS showdown with the St. Louis Cardinals. They lead the series 2-1.
Ben Francisco's pinch-hit, three-run home run late in Game 3 gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 2-1 series lead and, just as importantly, helped them retake home field advantage. They now need to win one out of two, and will toss out two of the veteran-iest veteran pitchers in baseball, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay.
Oswalt will get the ball against Edwin Jackson, who surprisingly hasn't had quite the reinvention under Cardinals
mad scientist pitching coach Dave Duncan the Redbirds hoped. He finished the season with a 3.79 ERA, 3.58 in 12 starts in St. Louis, but struggled allowing batters to reach base. In fact, his WHIP increased under Duncan, from 1.42 to 1.46. With baserunners like Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Chase Utley, that's not going to fly in the postseason.
Oswalt is a cagey vet, and he knows how to pitch in the postseason. He was one of the aces on the Astros team in 2005 that made the World Series, eventually losing to the White Sox, and has a history of good performances in October. It is the playoffs in St. Louis, though, so don't be surprised if this one goes to Game 5.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m.
Stadium: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals: Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79 ERA)