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NLDS Game 4 Live Blog: Phillies vs. Cardinals

Oct 5, 2011, 8:42 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

8:42pm: Jay makes a sliding catch in center field to end it. Cards win, 5-3. This series will come down to Game 5, Friday in Philadelphia. Chris Carpenter vs. Roy Halladay. You couldn’t ask for much better.

8:40pm: Motte blows a 98 mph heater past Ibanez’s late swing for the second out of the inning.

8:38pm: Motte falls to a 3-0 count on Victorino, then fires two straight strikes and induces a groundout.

8:36pm: Jason Motte and his beard are on for the save. He’ll face Victorino, Ibanez, then Polanco.

8:33pm: And down goes Holliday. To the ninth inning we go. The Phillies have three outs to get two runs.

8:32pm: Berkman also retired by Lidge.

8:31pm: Brad Lidge enters and retires Pujols. The Cards are looking for insurance runs.

8:28pm: Howard, a hero in Game 1’s 11-6 win, has no hits in his last 11 at-bats. Discuss.

8:26pm: “Scrabble” fans Howard. The Cards will bat in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run lead.

8:22pm: Pence grounds out to shortstop. The Cardinals will bring in left-hander Marc Rzepczynski to face Howard. Two outs, Utley is at second base. This feels like a big opportunity for the Phils.

8:21pm: Pinch-runner Michael Martinez cruises home as a ball gets past Molina. Cards 5, Phillies 3.

8:20pm: Cliff Lee and Brad Lidge have begun warming up in the Phillies’ bullpen.

8:18pm: Rollins grounds out, but Utley reaches base when his lightly-struck ball bounces high off the first base bag. The Phillies have runners at first and third with one out, trailing by three runs.

8:14pm: Hernandez calls a balk on Cardinals reliever Fernando Salas, who entered at the start of the inning.

8:12pm: Ross Gload pinch-hits for Blanton and slaps a leadoff single to right field. The Phillies are now at the top of their batting order with six outs to go in a 5-2 game. In steps the hot-hitting Rollins.

8:10pm: Blanton turns in an easy, hitless frame. To the top of the eighth inning we go.

8:05pm: Joe Blanton enters in relief of Oswalt, who surrendered five earned runs on six hits.

8:04pm: Dotel induces a groundout from the struggling Polanco before getting Carlos Ruiz to fly out. The Cardinals still hold a 5-2 lead as Game 4 of the NLDS heads to the bottom of the seventh inning.

7:58pm: Rhodes fans Ibanez then exits for Octavio Dotel. The Phillies have eight outs to mount a comeback.

7:56pm: Jackson is out, and Cardinals left-hander Arthur Rhodes is in. Freese has also been removed in favor of the more defensively-adept Daniel Descalso. Tony La Russa loves his double switches.

7:52pm: Holliday hits a one-out single up the middle, then Freese — who grew up in the St. Louis suburbs — smashes a two-run bomb to straightaway center. It’s 5-2 Cardinals. The crowd is going wild.

7:50pm: Word from TBS’ Craig Sager is that Schumaker has been diagnosed with “hamstring cramps.”

7:47pm: MLB.com has video of the squirrel crossing for those of you not in front of a television.

7:43pm: Victorino grounds out to Theriot. E-Jax did a fine job of damage control. The Cardinals lead by a score of 3-2 and will send Berkman, Holliday and Molina to the plate in the bottom of the sixth.

7:42pm: Howard flies out to center field. Two down in the top of the sixth inning.

7:37pm: Impressive play by Pujols, who came off first base to nail Utley as he was trying to advance to third on a groundout by Pence. But Pence is on first base with just one out in the frame. Howard’s up.

7:33pm: E-Jax delivers a leadoff walk to Utley. The Phillies might have something going with the heart of their order coming up. It’ll be Pence, then Howard, then Victorino here in the top of the sixth.

7:31pm: Ryan Theriot has entered the game in place of Schumaker, who appeared to grab at his hamstring following an awkward fifth-inning swing. Theriot will bat second and play second base.

7:29pm: Schumaker flies out anyway, and Pujols does the same. No squirrel controversy. Darn.

7:26pm: A squirrel just ran right in front of home plate as Oswalt was delivering a pitch — called a ball — to Schumaker. It may or may not be the same squirrel that was hanging around the field during Tuesday’s Game 3. Oswalt wants a do-over on the pitch, but home plate umpire Angel Hernandez is having none of it.

7:23pm: Furcal pops out on a first-pitch bunt attempt.

7:22pm: E-Jax escapes the danger. The Cards still lead 3-2 as we move along to bottom of the fifth.

7:19pm: Placido Polanco leads off the fifth inning with a single to left. He’s now 2-for-14 in this series.

7:12pm: The Cards strand Freese at third, but now hold a one-run lead as this one heads to the fifth.

7:08pm: Pence tracks down a hard-hit ball to right field from Molina, but David Freese laces a two-run double into the left field corner one batter later. The Cards have a 3-2 lead and a rocking Busch Stadium.

7:06pm: Berkman draws a leadoff walk and Holliday takes a pitch off his right arm. The Cardinals have life here in the bottom of the fourth. Yadier Molina steps to the dish to chants of “Ya-di, Ya-di, Ya-di.”

7:02pm: Ryan Howard fans in a three-pitch at-bat, Victorino grounds to short, then Raul Ibanez flies out to left. Jackson certainly looks sharper than he did in the first inning. But can the Cards break through?

6:56pm: Schumaker moves to 2-for-2 on the day with a two-out single, but Oswalt gets Pujols to chase a low-and-outside third strike. The Phillies still lead the Cardinals 2-1 as we head to the fourth inning.

6:47pm: Rollins, who is now 9-for-14 with six runs scored in this five-game series, managed a one-out infield single in the top of the third. But Jackson and the Cards were able to stymie the minor threat.

6:41pm: Here’s a .GIF snapshot of Victorino’s first-inning stumble. The outfield grass at Busch Stadium has struggled to recover from a July U2 concert. Blame it on Bono and The Edge, Phillies fans.

6:39pm: Oswalt had the Cardinals off balance in the bottom of the second for a quick 1-2-3 frame. It looks like both starters might be settling in. The Phillies still lead the game 2-1 heading to the third.

6:33pm: E-Jax begins featuring more breaking balls in the second and comes away with better results, retiring three batters in order — two via punch-out. The Cardinals will bat trailing by a run.

6:26pm: Lance Berkman hits a run-scoring extra-base hit to the right-center field gap, advancing to third base when Shane Victorino stumbles while trying to throw the ball back to the infield. Holliday follows with a groundout to Rollins. Phillies 2, Cardinals 1. Heading to the top of the second inning.

6:24pm: Pujols pops up after a lengthy at-bat.

6:21pm: Cardinals leadoff man Rafael Furcal goes down swinging, then Skip Schumaker smacks a one-out single to left field. Albert Pujols steps in against Roy Oswalt with a duck on the pond.

6:16pm: A strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out helps the Cardinals get out of the jam. To the bottom of the first we go, with Philadelphia leading St. Louis in Game 4 by a score of 2-0.

6:13pm: Edwin Jackson averaged 94.5 mph on his fastball this year. For reference, Justin Verlander averaged 95 mph. But E-Jax doesn’t locate like Verlander, and often trusts his fastball too much.

6:11pm: Just like that, the Phillies are up 2-0. Chase Utley follows Rollins’ leadoff double with a triple down the right field line, then Hunter Pence hits a run-scoring single to left-center field.

6:09pm: The sun plays a role on the first pitch of the game, as Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay fails to get a good read on Jimmy Rollins‘ warning-track fly. Rollins is standing on second base with no outs.

6:05pm: In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should divulge that I was raised in and still reside in St. Louis. So I’m a Cardinals fan. But a pessimistic one. If you sense bias, yell at me in the comments.

6:01pm: Welcome aboard. Thanks for stopping by and hanging out. Or just for stopping by. If you’re busy, you’re busy. We’ll do updates (bottom-to-top) every couple minutes. I can’t guarantee they’ll be entertaining or informative updates, but they’ll be updates. Like, with words and everything. And punctuation, at times.

*****************

Below are the starting lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS between the Phillies and Cardinals, set to get underway just after 6 p.m. ET in St. Louis.

The Phillies took a 2-1 series lead on Tuesday night courtesy of a 3-2 win and can wrap things up with a victory this evening at Busch Stadium.

Ibanez is back in Philadelphia’s starting lineup after riding the pine Tuesday against Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia. And left fielder Matt Holliday is back in action for the Redbirds despite lingering tendon issues in his right middle finger.

 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES           ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS            1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Chase Utley, 2B              2. Skip Schumaker, 2B
3. Hunter Pence, RF             3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B              4. Lance Berkman, RF
5. Shane Victorino, CF          5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. Raul Ibanez, LF              6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Placido Polanco, 3B          7. David Freese, 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C               8. Jon Jay, CF
9. Roy Oswalt, RHP              9. Edwin Jackson, RHP

It should be another exciting matchup. Follow along here on our NLDS Game 4 Live Blog.

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Don’t know what to expect from Oswalt tonight. Could go either way. Don’t really know what to expect out of Jackson either for that matter.

  2. drunkenhooliganism - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    No Theriot. Awesome.

    I think the winner of this game puts up at least ten runs. Cards need to get Oswalt out early (captain obvious) and get to the bullpen. Phillies just need to wait for their pitch and not miss it (and hope that Jackson doesn’t have his electric unhittable stuff that he shows about once every ten starts.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Colby Rasmus makes that catch.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:19 PM

      Agreed!

    • okwhitefalcon - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM

      Now that was funny.

      Colby would’ve had his back to the infield peeing while laughing goofy as he watched the stream make shadows on the centerfield wall.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Yeah, way to start the game fellas!!!

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Pence was safe….Howard can’t take that pitch though.

  6. lessthanittakes - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I know there’s no crying in baseball… but is there sighing in baseball? I think yes.
    Oop… strike ‘em, throw ‘em out. That never hurts.

  7. PhillieBirds - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Big Piece can’t be taking a close pitch there with the runner going…somewhere Wheels is talking about how sometimes the basestealer distracts the batter

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      Ha….you are probably right.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:21 PM

      Angel “freaking” Hernandez is the ump. Anything goes when Angel calls a game.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Oh hell…I didn’t realize he was the ump until you said so. You are right, anything is possible tonight.

  8. proudlycanadian - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    The umps are conspiring against the Phillies. That was ball 4 Angel, and Pence was safe. Where is Tony to complain when we need him?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:22 PM

      I thought it was a strike actually. It was too close to take anyway.

  9. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    “a duck on the pond”: nice one Drew. Gonna use that one as soon as I can.

    Fisted foul by Pujols…really?

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Every time there is a pop up in the infield, I always think about Jamie Moyer. He use to point and shout at who he wanted to take it.

  11. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    What was Shane doing out there?!!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      See below, the squirrel tripped him.

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM

        Dang squirrel’s! In TLR’s pocket, all of them….ooo there goes Chooch. That kid Jackson’s
        pretty good, eh?

  12. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    The squirrel must have tripped Shane.

    • firedude7160 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      It was the folks from Buffalo Wild Wings!

  13. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Raúl Javier Ibáñez; fashion victim….

  14. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Polanco continues to suck. I mean really suck. When does Charlie make a change? Knowing Charlie he probably won’t.

    • PhillieBirds - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      weird because he looked like he was starting to at least come around a little bit in the final few weeks of the season…now he’s not even trying to work good ABs like he’s known for. Without that he’s useless

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Yeah, he had a good two week spell but then kind of struggled toward the very end. You are absolutely correct, if he is not giving at least good at bats then he is useless on offense. He is still good at 3B though. Valdez is terrible at third so the only real option there outside of Polanco is Martinez. I don’t think he will be any better so on second thought, I guess Charlie doesn’t have any other option than to let this ride out.

    • trigzter - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      i could only understand keeping him for defense. his lone hit did nothing last night

  15. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    Little Roy, like a stud…

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      Yeah, as long as he doesn’t groove anymore fastballs.

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        You guys let him bat, eh? Well, it speeds the game up i suppose…

  16. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Each time Oswalt runs, I hold my breathe. I think he is always on the verge of falling over, grabbing his back.

  17. bigxrob - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    What’s up w/ the cut outs @ 1st and 3rd in foul ground

  18. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Little Roy look really sharp. Like an ace sharp.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      Ok…maybe a bit gettable…

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      He still makes me nervous. For whatever reason he doesn’t instill confidence in me like the other 3.

  19. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Anybody want to have a non-baseball conversation as well as a conversation about the game? You know, to occupy time in between innings or if nothing eventful is going on.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      I know a lot more about the digestive tract of the horse than I knew before today. A little research can really stick with a chap, y’know? We could discuss the relative merits of carbs & roughage vs proteins in the equine diet and what that mean…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:58 PM

        Never mind. Is that one word or two? When I type it as one word, the little red thing underlines it and says it is wrong but I could have sworn it was one word.

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        2 words in the dictionary, commonly spoken as one word. As in “Nevermind the protein in the horses diet, gives them diarrhea”.

    • bigxrob - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      Occupy HBT?

    • uberfatty - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      3 movies to have with you on a deserted island.

      • trigzter - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:58 PM

        castaway definately

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:59 PM

        Phar Lap

      • uberfatty - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

        My only guaranteed pick is Rounders. If that is on while I am flipping channels, night’s over.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:01 PM

        The Big Lebowski, Seven, and the first Pirates of the Caribbean…maybe 12 monkeys too.

  20. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    So, this is funny: Matt Gelb is reporting that Cardinal employs trapped the squirrel and locked it in a beer room but then it escaped. It was seen running on the grass above the center field fence.

  21. PhillieBirds - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    This is frustrating…we should be mashing Jackson

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      Not yet, I think. Wait till they’ve seen him one more time, then his lack movement will kill him. Right now his velocity & changes are holding them off

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      Give him credit, Jackson has really settled in. Mixes his pitches well now. He traditionally struggles in the first inning.

  22. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    For some unknown reason, Cole Hamels just headed out to the bullpen. Obviously nothing to do with pitching today but odd and interesting nonetheless.

  23. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Great, now Oswalt is having command problems all of a sudden.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      Part of that might be because Hernandez stopped giving the corners.

  24. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Ouch. Gotta be some tough not to be rolling around holding that.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      Hey boys! tube top in the 5th row!

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        Nice catch…but no ones getting to that, tie game

  25. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Pence was a bizarre route but makes the play.

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