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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: 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.

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 7:09 PM

    Maybe this is why he doesn’t instill confidence in me. Get Lee ready is what I say.

  2. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Looks like I called i the wrong way; seeing Oswalt for the second time and they are hitting him…

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:12 PM

      3rd out coming up…

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Polanco got a hit!!! Stockton was a bit generous calling it a line drive. Kind of floated out there.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      Alas, for naught…

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I’d love to see Uncle Cholly say this when they interview him…

    “Uh, I might get in trouble for this, but the umpires fucked us in the first inning…Pence was clearly safe and the pitch to Howard looked outside. Instead of 2 ducks on the pond and nobody out, we got 2 outs and no baserunners. Ya know, but we ain’t gonna complain or anything…no excuses”

    If TLR can do it, why not Uncle Cholly?

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      Cholly’d get away with it; no one can understand him. Lord knows what Jim Leyland is saying in his interviews. He could be speculating about the breed of the umpire’s mom for we can tell. Same deal for Cholly.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        Except Leyland and Uncle Cholly have this thing that scum like TLR doesn’t…class.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:26 PM

        Charlie will never do that. It just isn’t who he is.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

        Leyland? Seriously? He complains more than any managers I’ve seen…yes, even LaRussa.

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

    I’d have somebody warming up in the bullpen in case Oswalt continues to have location problems. Can’t mess around here.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      I keep telling my friends here…the Phillies are playing with house money this game. Having Francisco hit a 3 run homer to win the game is like winning $5,000 at blackjack last night. Now we are playing with that 5 grand. Worst case, we play game 5 with Doc. What me worry?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        Except anything can happen in a game 5. That damn squirrel again. That time clearly distracting Oswalt.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    What exactly was Furcal trying to do there? The guy is having problems with command and you have a lame ass attempt to bunt. Good for the Phillies though. One easy out.

  7. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    TLR’s pet rat buying Schumaker some time for his hammy!

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:27 PM

      Hernandez tosses Little Roy; bets?

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Angel Hernandez is worst umpire…he never gives inside strike, and we see that happen again. That last pitch was a strike.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      He was giving it early then inexplicably stopped in the 4th inning.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    How cool is the squirrel though…all four legs at once in the air…every step is a jump. Very cool.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      After previously escaping from the beer room. He is like a little Houdini.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

        Somehow it’s all Angel Hernandez’s fault the squirrel was out there. After all, he’s a terrible umpire, so it must be his fault. But only because Joe West wasn’t there.

        How stupid and incompetent can the umpires be to let a squirrel run across the field. Just proves how bad they are. Damn dummies.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM


      • jamaicanjasta - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

        I think the above was an attempt at humor, but I just got lost O.o.

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Tony must train them to run like that; matches up well with distracting pitchers

    • jamaicanjasta - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      Terrible baserunning. Stay on second, eesh.

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    That a boy Utley…be patient. Let this guy make a mistake.

  11. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    That a boy Utley…be patient. Let this guy make a mistake.

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    TBI…it’s not Hernandez’s fault about the squirrels. He blows moose cock as an umpire, but the squirrel isn’t his fault.

  13. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    What in the hell was Utley doing there?

  14. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Howard needs to do something here.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      Shane needs to do something here.

  15. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Pujols is just too good (in case anybody out there didn’t already know that)

  16. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Oh man…lucky he wasn’t hurt or hurt Freese…that seemed ill advised, that attempt to reach 3rd…

  17. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Utley is the man. Took a good play by Pujols to get him by a step and a half. Most 1B will stay on bag and Utley is standing on 3rd right now. 2008 Utley makes that. 2011 Utley is not fast enough anymore.

  18. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Another pitch on the corner not called. Oswalt getting seriously squeezed this whole game. Bleh. Stupid Hernandez.

    • jamaicanjasta - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      His strike zone reminds me of Laz Diaz’s.

  19. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    World of trouble now. Been brewing all night.

  20. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    OOOO, boy. Tim for Cliffy…..f

  21. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    91 on the fastball. If that is all he is throwing, it is hard for Oswalt to be effective.

  22. thefalcon123 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Freese’s HR was the Cards first postseason home run in Busch since Game 5 of the 2006 NLCS.

  23. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Outside and low to Ibanez and its a strike? give me a break.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM

      Then he has to swing at the next pitch. Hernandez sucks big time. He is most inconsistent umpire around. and now we get dipshit LaRussa and his pitching changes out the ass. I hope he gets burned this time…he acts like he has a great bullpen or something.

  24. eagles512 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Holliday is almost as slow as Pujols and Berkman. When did he get so slow?

  25. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    The Phillies offense has been disgusting yet again. Jackson pitched well, but not that well.

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