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Jackson settles, Freese shines as Cardinals force Game 5

Oct 5, 2011, 9:26 PM EDT

freese ap AP

“I knew I couldn’t let the game overwhelm me,” Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson told a reporter a few minutes after the conclusion of Wednesday night’s 5-3 NLDS Game 4 victory over the Phillies.

Whether that mindset came to the right-hander in hindsight or he truly felt mentally calm after allowing a double, triple and single within his first five pitches, Jackson indeed responded and settled in. After that rough first frame, he retired 17 of the next 20 batters he faced before exiting to a three-run lead.

Cardinals third baseman David Freese hit a two-run go-ahead double in the fourth inning, then launched a towering two-run homer to the center field lawn in the bottom of the sixth. A product of the west St. Louis suburbs, he was granted a chill-inducing curtain call by the Busch Stadium faithful after his blast.

This five-game NLDS will come down to Game 5, Friday night in Philadelphia. Chris Carpenter vs. Roy Halladay. Two old friends and former teammates, both on normal rest. It should be a heck of a finish.

Notes

* The sun caused some issues in the first inning when Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay failed to get a good initial read on a leadoff hit by Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies scored two in that opening frame.

* The Phillies also experienced problems in center field during the first inning, when Shane Victorino‘s front foot slipped out from under him while he was trying to throw a ball back to the infield. The outfield grass at Busch Stadium had to be completely replaced after a U2 concert in July and hasn’t fully recovered.

* Freese was 2-for-13 with six strikeouts in the series before his double and heroic home run.

* Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols made one of the best defensive plays of this postseason, picking off Chase Utley as he tried to advance from first to third during a sixth-inning infield hit by Hunter Pence.

* A squirrel dashed across home plate while Phillies starter Roy Oswalt was delivering a pitch to Skip Schumaker in the bottom of the fifth. Oswalt tried to argue for a do-over on the pitch — called a ball — but home plate umpire Angel Hernandez appeared to laugh off that suggestion. Schumaker then flied out. A squirrel (possibly the same one) also reached the playing field in Game 3 Tuesday evening.

* Phillies slugger Ryan Howard went 0-for-8 in both games back in St. Louis, his hometown.

* Placido Polanco, still being bothered by a sports hernia, is 2-for-16 so far in this five-game series.

* Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (finger) was 1-for-3 with two runs scored in his return to the lineup.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Hopefully the comments will work in this thread. Test post.

  2. gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Maybe they can bring the squirrel to Phillie.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    I left most of my comments since the end of the game over at the Live Blog thread. I didn’t comment until after the game. But, in a nut shell, I give once again St. Louis credit in this game. Once again, they showed they are a good hitting team that did well once again against a great Phillies staff.

    Now, I’m not wasting more time typing the same stuff that I did in the other thread. The Phillies did themselves in playing bad baseball. Their baserunning decisions were atrocious, Roy Oswalt was rocked for 5 runs and was abused by Freese. And that 9th inning by the Phillies against Motte was putrid. They basically took strike after strike down the middle and looked scared. Bad performance all around.

    • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:47 PM

      sorry,,, squirrels, nut shells,,
      Nothing but the shells left to chew over one team after the climactic game 5. Gonna be good.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Now it comes down to Doc vs Carp. This is what it is all about. CBP will be fired up. I doubt J-Roll will have anything to whine about Friday night. Go Phillies.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:43 PM

      Yep, complete faith that Halladay will get the job done. If the Cards manage to rough him up, then well done.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:48 PM

        What amazes me is that the Cardinals have won two games that they were losing in. I had faith that these 4 guys would be able to hold leads, no matter how small, and both Lee and Oswalt disappointed. I know it was only 2 runs for Oswalt, but I don’t care. Lee and Oswalt should not be giving up 5 runs. Very disappointing.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:52 PM

        My first comment of the blog was that I didn’t know what to expect from Oswalt. I thought the Phillies were going to have to score some runs for him today in order to win. I have lost faith in him over the course of the season. Too radically inconsistent with his fastball command and velocity. Furthermore, I think he knows that and shies away from throwing it sometimes. It is a problem. The fastball Freese hit out was at 91 inner third. That velocity is not going to cut it. I guess I am saying that I wasn’t surprised he blew the lead. Lee, on the other hand, needed to lock down that game. A four run lead should have been enough. That was shocking and disappointing.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        I agree that Lee was a 10 on the shocking scale, whereas Oswalt was closer to a 7. But either way, I expect more out of these guys. Oswalt’s performance tonight is enough to make me think that maybe Uncle Cholly should use one of the other 3 on short rest or the Vanimal if the Phillies are able to get to the NLCS.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:01 PM

        I was thinking about Worley as well. The only problem is that he doesn’t seem to do well getting yo-yo’d back and forth. A simulate start down in the instructional league might be in order if he is to pitch in game 4. Ryan Roberts just hit a first inning GS off Wolf. Shit.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:48 PM

      Chris and Doctor,

      I honestly ask both of you this question. Aren’t you guys pissed about the Phillies’ performance tonight? There will plenty of time in the next day or two to talk about Carpenter vs. Doc. But, until then, tonight’s game needs to be scrutinized. They played bad fundamental baseball and Oswalt was manhandled. I can’t turn my attention that quickly to game 5.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:52 PM

        HB, I said this in the previous thread. Tonight was house money for the Phillies. They won a game they had no business winning on Tuesday. Francisco home run? Are you kidding me? And the worst thing that could happen would be that we get to see Halladay in Game 5. Well, that’s what we have.

        Maybe you expect sweeps but the fact is that the series is 2-2 and the Phillies have game 5 at home. It is on schedule. What else can we ask for? I didn’t expect the Phillies to go 11-0 in the postseason.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:55 PM

        I’m not pissed off or anything. I think they tried to make stuff happen and it didn’t work out for them. Mainly overly aggressive and whatnot. Oswalt didn’t look so great, no. I thought Hernandez’s strike zone changed a tad starting in the 4th inning and Oswalt let it affect him. His fastball velocity isn’t what it should be which is the most concerning aspect of his performance.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        Chris,

        You’re missing my point. It has nothing to do with expecting the Phillies to sweep anyone. It’s about game to game analysis and scrutiny with what a team did good/bad that given night. What shocks me is the natural progression to leave this game alone and move to the next game like it’s nothing.

        What else can I ask for? Better fundamental baseball and better at bats instead of the sorry AB’s that we saw throughout the game, especially that sad display that the Phillies showed Motte in the 9th. That alone should piss you off.

      • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:02 PM

        You are right ‘ceps, the Phightins had it handed to them tonight. I am sure they know it. Am also sure they are moving on and have the next on their mind already.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:06 PM

        None of this pisses me off once the game ends. As it happens, I get a bit fired up and pissed. If they lose Game 5, I’m sure I will be disappointed but I won’t be angry or anything. I only get pissed about lack of effort or complete lack of concentration. I didn’t see that tonight. I saw them make some aggressive mistakes.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:07 PM

        HB, I guess when it is a series, I don’t look as hard at each game. The Phillies gave away game 2, but stole game 3. Game 4 sucked because Oswalt didn’t show up. Game 5 is what matters right now. If Doc isn’t himself or if they cant scratch out a few runs, then it will be season over. No sense worrying about what happened in game 4. Nothing is going to change it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM

        “If they lose Game 5, I’m sure I will be disappointed but I won’t be angry or anything.”

        Oh doctor, I disagree with you totally about that. If they lose game 5, then it will be about as devastating as it gets. If I am going to jump up and down when the win the World Series, I am not going to just go “Oh well” when they go out in the first round. No way. I will be a miserable bastard for at least 2 days and I won’t watch another pitch of the playoffs…except to root against the Yankees.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:11 PM

        Doctor and Chris,

        I guess we view the game of baseball differently. What you call aggressive mistakes I call bad baseball. And we also differ about not being pissed after the game. I am extremely pissed and will be until at least tomorrow at some point. Aggressive mistakes = aggressive outs = bad baseball.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:11 PM

        Yeah, that is pretty much what I meant. I will be disappointed and won’t have the stomach for the rest of the games but I will only be pissed until I wake up in the morning. After that, just disappointment.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        I don’t have a problem sending Pence at all. I don’t think that it was a mistake. Like I said, I’m not so sure about the Utley play. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        But HB, the series is where it is supposed to be right now. 2-2 with game 5 at home. Do you expect them to win every series by sweep? No, so then why worry game by game? There’s no reason to…that’s how you get ulcers. :D But seriously, it’s a series. Why are you worrying game by game?

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:21 PM

        Chris,

        I said it before. I never panic or worry. I only critique what I see in a given game. Christ, this was a bad played game by the Phillies. The big picture only becomes apparent by the type of baseball you watch the team play. Like you said before, Francisco’s 3 run homer was playing on borrowed money, or something to that effect. They didn’t hit good in that game. The only highlight besides that was Hamels’ gutty performance.

        We need to scrutinize game by game because that is what makes Philly different than other cities. We care. Do you agree?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:30 PM

        Also, something that I haven’t heard mentioned as that the Phillies and Cardinals are the two best teams in the NL. I don’t care what the records say, the Cards are an excellent team. They are not frauds like the Reds last year. They have a ton of capable players and a pitching staff that gives the Phillies problems. I too like to analyze the games…I just try not to get to worked up over them. I use to get super pissed. I mean super pissed, but at some point I realized that despite how much I care it is just a game. Now, I get slightly pissed for a tad. To be honest, right now I am mostly excited for Game 5.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:34 PM

        HB, I care, but when it comes to a series, I like to consider the whole series and not just one game. If they come out and blow the Cardinal out in game 5, then who gives a shit what happened in games 1 through 4. If they come out and lose game 5, then I’ll look at the series as a whole and talk about how badly they played. But to go over every detail game by game of a series is not worth the aggravation because the ONLY thing that matter is what happens in the series.

        But I am not saying you are wrong to feel how you do…just that I feel differently. I’m focused on game 5 and Doc. I’m nervous as hell and it’s going to be a long enough two days.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:42 PM

        Chris,

        Look. We all thought that this rotation in the playoffs would have been better than it has been. Doc and Cole fulfilled their end of the bargain and pitched their asses off. Lee and Oswalt have pitched poorly. That’s the crux of why this series is tied 2-2.

        Now, we look at Doc pitching tomorrow. Do I think Doc will win? Just look at my handle, for Christ’s sake :) . I have the utmost confidence in Roy Halladay, who I have considered the best pitcher in baseball for years and is the best pitcher that I have ever seen in a Phillies uniform since Lefty Carlton. When the Phillies acquired him, I almost pissed my pants. He is the best of the best.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        Let’s hope this decisive game goes better for Halladay than the last decisive game the Phillies played…with Carlton on the mound. It shall be a long 46 hours until Game 7.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:52 PM

        I want to talk Polanco and his continued struggles. He has been fucking horrible. My gut tells me to start either Michael Martinez or Wilson Valdez at 3rd for game 5. Thoughts? Objections?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:54 PM

        I’m going to start a new topic in this thread to discuss that. So look below for my thoughts on Polanco.

  5. missthemexpos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    For Blue Jay fans this is as close as we get to cheer in October these days: Carpenter vs. Halladay. Heck if we are really lucky, maybe we get to see Mark Rzepczyxwvutsky in relief.

  6. dracko19 - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    That squirrel has his own twitter account now and is tweeting during games….to 3000+ followers

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      Of course it does. Thanks for the info though.

  7. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Where is the game blog for the Brewers v Diamondbacks. They are roughing up Randy Wolf in the first.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:32 PM

      Damn, Saunders is getting roughed up to. He is just throwing fastballs right down the middle.

  8. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    DJ,
    It was the same squirrel. Matt Gelb was tweeting that prior to the game, Cardinal employs caught the squirrel and locked it in a beer room. Somehow the squirrel managed to escape and made it’s way to the grass behind CF, then obviously made its way onto the field.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:15 PM

      I mean Drew…not DJ. Like I said last night after ten I get somewhat intellectually challenged.

  9. kvanhorn87 - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    As a side note, that was the quickest 8 run game I have ever watched.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:01 PM

      Phillies play quick games. They score quickly then do nothing frequently. Also, the pitchers do not waste any time. Game 5 has the potential to be super quick. Doc likes to get the ball and toss it. No shenanigans.

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    I mentioned something like that in the blog thread. Here’s the thing, Polanco is still good defensively at third. Valdez is not a good defensive 3B…he is great at SS, but for whatever reason not so great at third. So, I am going to dismiss him from the mix even though I have this feeling that he would get a big hit. Martinez is really good defensively at third. He might even be better than Polanco in that regard. Problem is, he can’t hit at all. At all. So, he really isn’t that much better of an option than Polanco. I wouldn’t do it and I don’t think Charlie will do it, but if he did I wouldn’t get all upset about it either. Polanco has been terrible, but I still think he is the best option going forward.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      Before I comment on this, see my above comment before your comment @ 10:52PM.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:06 PM

        I don’t quite understand what I should be looking at. I saw the comment before I posted down here. If I had to pick between Martinez and Valdez, I will contradict myself and roll with Valdez.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:09 PM

        Doctor,

        What I believe is with Polanco, who hasn’t hit anything this series, should be sat down in favor of either Valdez or Martinez. If I had my choice, it would be Martinez because he seems to be able to provide a little a little more pop than Valdez.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:15 PM

        Sorry HB, Michael Martinez sucks. I have as much of a chance of hitting a HR against Carpenter as he does. Also, Valdez inexplicably has tremendous numbers with RISP this season and pretty good numbers in that department for his career. Furthermore, I would trust him not to do something stupid in comparison to Martinez. If and that is a big if Polanco is benched, it has to be Valdez.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        Valdez just knows how to drive in runs :D

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:14 PM

      Polanco still plays. Game 5…hopefully the adrenaline helps him get through the pain. If not, then nothing we can do about it. There’s no way you can play Martinez or especially Valdez. It’s one position…one part of the line-up. He’s batting 7th, so it’s not like he is in the middle of the line-up causing a problem. I’d rather have another 3rd baseman, but Polanco is the best we have.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:17 PM

        Oh I agree, I would leave Polanco in there….none of the other options are at all appealing.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:17 PM

        Oh I agree, I would leave Polanco in there….none of the other options are at all appealing.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:19 PM

        I agree with you, Chris. Charlie will not sit Polanco. But, I still disagree with his decision. Polanco hasn’t hit well since the 1st month of the season because of his back. He continues to hurt the Phillies in this series because of his back. I know it won’t happen, but I would put Martinez in there. We need some possible run production from the bottom of that lineup. He, with his back issues, is not providing any. None.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        HB, Michael Martinez is horrible. He is a worse offensive option than Polanco even with the bad back. It is what it is…us fans just have to deal with the suckitude of Polanco for the rest of the playoffs. Shit, maybe he will have a big game. Who the hell knows.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:29 PM

        Good Doctor/Chris,

        Goodnight. I will talk to you guys tomorrow. Two of my favorites to talk Phillies baseball. You guys are aces.

  11. xmatt0926x - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    I agree with the sentiment of most of the comments here which state that it’s not very shocking that Oswalt was beaten. The catchphrase for the year has been “4 aces” but anyone watching Oswalt can see that he’s still a good pitcher, but certainly no ace anymore. He performs like most players in somewhat of a decline in their careers. He’ll have flashes of his former self here and there like he did right before the season ended but overall his starts have been just ok here and there. He was throwing up to 94 mph in his last start before the playoffs and his curve had some real snap to it, but most of his games are 91 mph, a decent curve when he throws it, but really just a shell of his former greatness. Again, still a fine pitcher for the most part but not a real ace anymore. The Cardinals really do have a good offense. The Phillies can run hot and very very cold as we all know. Game 5 can go either way. My only fear is that Halladay has a great game but still gives up 2 runs that the Phillies won’t be able to match against Carpenter. Maybe pitching on short rest last game somehow leaves Carpenter worn down somewhat and they can get a few runs here and there. Once again we are seeing that the playoffs are a crapshoot, especially in a 5 game opening series.

  12. cur68 - Oct 6, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Hey fellas. back from the pub. Wing night. Couldn’t pass it up.

    The post mortem seems to be over. I think its relatively safe to say this now; I’m glad of the loss. Why? Let me count the ways;
    First; more baseball.

    2nd; Doc pitches agin. Pride of the Toronto Blue jays, saddling up the stallion and preparing to save the Phillys, I like that story.

    3rd; more tension and excitement. Afraid the end of the regular season rather spoiled me for the drama.

    Finally. Some drama. Facing off we have 2 of the best pitchers in baseball and a cast of characters that a Victorian Era playwright couldn’t come up with. A pair of managers that couldn’t be more opposite if you’d sliced a magnet in half. A set of fans as memorable as the teams. Seriously, whoever’s team loses next game, I’ll miss you like if you died. Really. Even animals in the production. Horses. Squirrels. What’s next? A dancing bear?

    I cant wait for the next game.

    And I really don’t want it to end.

    • spudchukar - Oct 6, 2011 at 2:09 AM

      Cur, you sound like a fan of Baseball (capitalized because of the reverence), first most, which makes me smile. Yes, you are leaning Philly, primarily for your love of Halladay, which you are entitled to.

      Tough match up for my Cards; in Philly vs. Halladay. Curious as to the betting lines. But no matter the outcome, boy am I ever proud of my guys from St. Louis. To force a game 5 vs. the HBT’s invincible reminds me of “The Princess Brides” memorable line, ‘It’s inconceivable’. Which seems to be the Philly mantra.

      Sure the odds are against us, but then what were the odds that Francisco homers? It is Baseball, and you can guarantee we will show up believing.

      • cur68 - Oct 6, 2011 at 3:29 AM

        Spuddy; What’s better than this? The scrappy, come from behind team, (with grit!) managed by the wily fox of Baseball himself. Up against the down home ‘aw shucks’ management of the powerhouse pitching bad boys (with rhythm & Talent!) of Baseball. Its the stuff dreams are made of…

        We have StrikeZoneGate

        We have HorseCrapGate

        We have SquirrellGate

        Players have been hit. Others have seen a little chin music. There have been switches. Homers. Steals. “horses have been rode”. Quick hooks have been made. There are injuries to both sides. Aces have been the goat. Goats have been clutch. If I see any more grit I’m getting out my sand pail and liddle shovel and make a hill.
        All that hasn’t happened is a fight.

        The best is set for last; Philadelphia. Halladay v Carpenter. A heavy weight showdown. Will there be animals? Will there be a moving strike zone? Will Cholly utter an intelligible word? Will there be double switches?

        Man, Michael Buffer should introduce the starting line ups.

      • spudchukar - Oct 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        Good Stuff Cur. Hope Game 5 lives up to the billing. Can hardly wait.

  13. Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    Am I pissed? Yes I am.

    1. Angel Hernandez has no place behind the plate. He squeezed both pitchers wayyyy too much. He also let a rodent distract him from calling a strike. He then only made mistakes with his very tight strike zone in the Cards favor.

    2. Roy Oswalt loves his “fastball” wayyyy too much. Hey little Roy, how many calls that Ruiz made did you shake off last night? 20? 30? too many to count? I thought so. That short stocky Panamanian has twice the smarts that you do when it comes to calling a game, deal with it and pitch to his calls like the rest of the staff does. It’s no coincidence that Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee pitched better in Philly than they have anywhere else.

    3. The Phillies bats. Besides a few, the team has been absolutely mediocre to terrible in this series. Sure game 1 was different, but it was due to Carpenter being bad, which he usually isn’t. Pick up your chins boys, and hit the f*&^&^ing ball, mmmkay?

    Ahhh, now that feels beter to get off my chest…..

    With that said, we have Doc on the mound and he’s going to work like it could be his last game of his career and although I feel the offense of the Cards is superior to that of the Phills, I think because of Big Roy playing at home, the Phills will come out on top. If they don’t the fans may bum rush the field and kill any Cardinal they see on the field. j/k, no I’m not. Yes I am. am I? I’m not. Am. Not.

    My real feelings are as such. Game 5′s are pretty awesome and I couldn’t ask for a better scenario than to have Roy Halladay on our side, at home, so let the game begin!!!! Woot! Go Phills!

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      Sure game 1 was different, but it was due to Carpenter being bad, which he usually isn’t.

      Man! No wonder Carpenter is gassed, pitched Game 1, Game 3 and now Game 5? Tony LaRussa is a disgusting pimp.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

        I’m sorry, my mind is clouded at the moment. I was thinking Lohse but somehow typed Carpenter.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      Jonny: Your dead on with the Roy’s skake offs. I made the same comment a few times last night during the game. There were so many I lost count. To me…that is something that a lot of people miss but it goes a long way towards illustrating how well a pitcher is throwing and obviously…how he is communicating with his Catcher. Now..we are back in Philly. Go Cardinals!

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        Your boys are playing really well right now, just as they have for last month. I hope the Phills can pull this off, I really do. Good luck.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      Yeah, don’t shake off Chooch. Whatever he is calling is right.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Thanks Jonny. And good luck to you as well (I just hope my Cardinals have more of it). I expect another nail-biter Friday night.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        Yeah, seriously best of luck….well, second best of luck. I like most of you Cardinal fans. You guys are all right.

  14. kcq101 - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    I have tickets to tomorrow night’s game. I couldn’t be more excited, yet my stomach is in knots. The next 36 hours are going to be like the slow, clicking crescendo to the top of the rollercoaster. I just hope I don’t feel sick at the end of the ride. {troll – insert Philly fan vomit joke here}

    I’m anxious to see Doctober in a moment he was seemingly born to prevail. Though, the Cards’ have an ironic-Rocky-like momentum to them, with their very own ace. And the Phils bats need to be revived.

  15. Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Oswalt mentions that it all went bad on two pitches to Freese… he’s obviously disregarding the fact the if he had A) Not walked Berkman and B) Not hit Holliday, then Freese doesn’t even get an at-bat that inning. It wasn’t just two pitches.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM

      I mean contrary to what Oz and the fine people at Crashburn Alley think, what you DO in other parts of an inning DO have an effect in the rest of it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        He also grooved that fastball to Berkman in the first inning that was lucky to not be a HR. So, yeah it was more than 2 bad pitches.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM

      It went bad for Oswalt because he doesn’t throw 94 anymore. If he is throwing harder the Freese HR is probably a pop up to Rollins. It seems like, sometimes all he want to throw is fastball and other times all he wants to throw is change ups and curves. The concept of mixing and matching seems to have left him. Probably ties in to the constant shaking off of Chooch mentioned above.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        Not all the time no, he can still throw 94 but some days he just doesn’t have it. If his fastball sits at 91 with little or no movement then he’s basically serving up gofer balls like Garcia did in his one mistake to Francisco.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        Ruiz : I tell you, he no hit biesbol for changeup insite, but noooooo You want fasssboll all da time outsite, no goot!

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        Seriously though, the point about Oswalt shaking off Chooch so much is a really good point. Halladay and Lee barely shake him off. They have to tell Worley to shake off whoever the catcher is…he doesn’t like to think on the mound. I mean, I know Oswalt has had a great career but he isn’t that same pitcher anymore….Ruiz knows he’s stuff just have to trust him to call the game.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Considering how much praise Halladay has for Ruiz you would think Oz would trust him more. Then again maybe it was lack of confidence in his own pitches (“I can’t throw that Ruiz!”). Maybe Charlie should have brought Lee in the 6th after all (I mean, if you have an available but don’t use him, what’s the point?)

        OTOH The offense could have put this away in the first inning. If the Phillies don’t give up that pair of outs just like that Jackson might have collapsed on the spot.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Yes, Yes, and Yes.

        Bets on the rest of the team wrapping bars of soap in towels and getting him good on the flight home all “full metal jacket” style?

        http://www.hark.com/clips/jbdlljhhxz-what-is-your-major-malfunction-numbnuts

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      It went bad when his on a clothesline fastball couldn’t top 91. When his fastball has the giddyup and hit 94 plus, it’s lights out. When it’s around 91 to a team that’s seen you umpteen million times that thing probably looks like it’s in slow motion.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        With the Blue Danube playing in the background :D

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        LMAO!!! Yes! Oh, wait, that’s not funny…. BOOO!

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Or like a beach ball. He was force feeding AP fastballs his first time up. Great swings…hitting laser after laser down the 3rd base foul line but he got him to pop up. He actually struck him out his 3rd time up with a Curve. But that is one of the few times I recall him throwing one.

  16. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=xD4nx

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Maybe I’m missing something? Howard no RBI???

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        I didn’t do the search, Matt Gelb did and posted it on twitter. It seems to me he is tracking the number of 3+ strike out games in post season play then showing the totality of the numbers from those games. Disturbing to say the least.

  17. spudchukar - Oct 6, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    The real winner so far in the Cards/Phillies match-up. Lafayette High School. Home to both Ryan Howard and David Freese.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      Yep…and let’s hope our St. Louis kid carries last nights productivity into Game 5 Friday night. It would also be nice of Philly’s St. Louis kid continues with his strikeout rate.

  18. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    What gets me is all the panicking going on in the Philadelphia area. It’s like nobody understands that it is a SERIES. The Cardinals are not going to roll over. Since 2004, they have been to the playoffs 5 times. This isn’t like the Reds or Milwaukee, who made it once when they played the Phillies in the NLDS…or even Colorado who had made it twice. That’s why I wanted the D-Backs…they would have just been happy to be here and would have gone down quietly in 3. Don’t look at what they are doing to the Brewers…the Brewers don’t have the pitching the Phillies have. No matter how crappy Lee and Oswalt have pitched, they would not be giving up 8 and 10 runs…no way…no how.

    This series is going true to form…2-2 with game 5 coming back to Philly. Am I disappointed that Lee pitched so bad? Hell yeah. But I think if it went to St Louis 2-0, the Cardinals would have found a way to get it back to Philly. They are a good squad, well-seasoned, and they are good enough to win. Francisco hitting a home run evens out the horrendous performance from Lee, but that doesn’t mean that a series defeat doesn’t make Lee the goat of the series. $25 million contract means you get handed a 4 run lead and you hold it. Period. If the Phillies lose, Lee is the goat.

    No matter what happens, if the Phillies lose game 5 it will be the single most disappointing season in the team’s history. To win 102 and go out like lambs in the NLDS would be devastating. But Doc is going to try to continue his streak of mowing down Cardinals while Carpenter will probably do the same to the Phillies. It’s going to take a couple key hits or walks and I predict the game will be 3-1 Phillies. But the tying runs will be on base in the late innings and it will take everything from Doc, Lee and Madson to win this game for the Phillies.

    Either way…buckle up…it’s going to be a night to remember.

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