Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay took the mound in Game 5 of the NLDS matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Philles, and it was the pitching duel we all expected. By the time it was over, Carpenter walked away unscathed, pitching a complete game shutout as the Cardinals moved on to the NLCS with a 1-0 win.
As the Cardinals and Phillies battled in an elimination game, Baseball Nation live-blogged. Below are a few of the highlights.
Here's your scoring summary for the game. I hate to give away the game right near the beginning, but this was it:
A slim lead, but a lead. On the fourth pitch of the game, Rafael Furcal ripped a triple to center field - just the third leadoff triple Halladay has allowed in his career. That brought Skip Schumaker to the plate, and after falling behind 0-2, Schumaker worked a ten-pitch at bat before lining a double into right. Halladay hung a curve in the center of the zone, and Schumaker took advantage. That put St. Louis up 1-0.
In that update, Jeff Sullivan said Chris Carpenter might need to spin a gem. And boy did he spin a gem. But more on that later.
Schumaker, the hero of the game -- or at least the first inning -- made an early exit, leaving the dugout in the third with what we later found out was an oblique strain.
But now the Cardinals will have to play the rest of the way without Schumaker, because in the middle of the third inning, he left the dugout with a trainer, and Jay took over in the outfield. Schumaker was walking under his own power and it's unclear what's wrong, but it's worth noting he flew out in the top of the frame. Maybe that isn't worth noting. I literally have no idea what the matter is, except that he isn't suffering from armlessness or anything. Nothing was visibly wrong.
And while Carpenter was pitching well -- the Phillies had still yet to score by the fifth -- he did do something to tarnish his stellar night by failing to run out a terrible bunt.
Not well, anyway. He fouled off a couple of sacrifice attempts, falling behind 0 and 2. He did eventually get the bunt down, but it wasn't a real good one. Actually, it was a real terrible one, as Carlos Ruiz stood up, took one step forward, grabbed the baseball on a high bounce, and threw to second base to easily force Punto at second.
Carpenter didn't run, either. He literally didn't run, or take even a cursory step toward first base. He stood and watched the double play turned, as if he'd just arrived on these shores and was fascinated by this strange phenomenon.
I'm not going to give it away, but Peanuts makes an appearance in this update. That should be enough to compel you to click.
To the eighth we went and the Cardinals had a chance to increase their lead if not for that dreaded bunt.
It almost got worse for the Phillies. After Chris Carpenter led off the inning with a single, Carlos Ruiz tried and failed to get him at second on a Rafael Furcal bunt. Jon Jay sacrificed the runners over, and Halladay walked Albert Pujols intentionally. Probably could have had Pujols hit if you'd kept your bunt in your pants, La Russa.
Halladay got out of the inning and we were headed for a close finish. That close finish included a heart-stopping eighth and the luck of the bounce for the Cardinals!
And before things could settle down, Jimmy Rollins lined a pitch off Carpenter that went right to Nick Punto. If it had caromed a few degrees in either direction, the Phillies might still be batting. As is, it's still a 1-0 game entering the ninth, and Roy Halladay has been replaced by Ryan Madson.
Paper bag time for Phillies fans. Use it to keep from hyperventilating, and keep it to do what you will if the Phillies can't pick up a run in the ninth.
And because it was spoiled earlier, Carpenter did, in fact, spin a gem. He came in to finish the ninth and closed out the complete game shutout as the Cardinals advanced to the NLCS with a 1-0 win. And to add salt to the wound, Ryan Howard may have torn his Achilles while making the final out. Not a good night for the Phillies.