The St. Louis Cardinals forced a return to Philadelphia with a 5-3 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday night. The Cardinals received a big game from third baseman David Freese with his four RBI night. Now the Cardinals will be at Citizens Bank Park with Chris Carpenter facing Roy Halladay in a decisive Game 5 game.
The Baseball Nation guys were all over this game. Here are the highlights of the live blog:
• Who's that playing left field and batting in the middle of the Cardinals' lineup?
Yes, it's Matt Holliday, whose finger injury has heretofore limited him to a (successful) pinch-hitting appearance in Game 3. He's been injected with a numbing agent, and says he's "good enough" to play tonight.
After missing the first three games of the series, Holliday was finally back in the lineup, but how was he going to perform?
• Whatever Holliday and the Cardinals needed to do, they were going to be down by the time they came to bat in the bottom of the first inning. As Rob Neyer narrates:
drove first pitch to straightaway center fielder, and deep. Center fielder completely lost the baseball in the sun; by the time he started sprinting toward the fence it was too late, and the ball bounced over the fence for an automatic double.
You can see a GIF of that here, but the far funnier one comes from Shane Victorino. The Cards, down by two runs after the Phillies scored following Jay's experience in the outfield, answered back with a Lance Berkman RBI double. But it was Shane Victorino's, well, just take a look at this:
• With the Cards down, 2-1, Grant Brisbee asked, "Is this Pujols's last game as a Cardinal?" The answer, of course, is no, but then Grant was just trolling.
• Jeff Sullivan was bemoaning the improved defense in the game since it made the game boring. That was before the bottom of the fourth inning, when Roy Oswalt put Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday (welcome back, Matty!) on base with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. And then Oswalt did this:
Oswalt's first pitch to David Freese was a hanging change-up, which Freese lined into the left-corner, both runners scoring easily.
Ooph. Cards take a 3-2 lead.
• What's Edwin Jackson's master plan for the Cardinals? It might be what Grant wrote about originally, or it might just be this:
UPDATE: EDWIN JACKSON CAN CONTROL SQUIRRELS WITH HIS MIND. WE ARE NOT SAFE TO TALK HERE. PLEASE MEET ME AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AT THE CORNER O^%&**@@@@&NO CARRIER"
There was another squirrel during this series:
• Albert Pujols made a heads-up defensive play during the sixth inning to prevent Chase Utley from reaching third base safely. Then in the bottom of the sixth, that David Freese guy showed up again. He had Matt Holliday on base and sent a ball sailing all the way to the place where Kennedy assassination buffs love to talk about:
The ball landed on the grassy knoll in center field beyond the fence to boost the Cardinals' lead from one to three. (emphasis added)
The Cards were up, 5-2, and went on to win, 5-3. Time for a showdown in the City of Brotherly Love (which, I assure you, won't be all that loving to the Cards).