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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. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Ah, Dotel coming in. Which Dotel do we see? Effective, crafty Dotel or useless sack of skin Dotel?

    • cintiphil - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:26 PM

      He is bad, so your Philthy’s killed him, right?

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Oh hey, Joe Blanton is going to come in the game. Yeah.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Ross not Russ jackass….there you go.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      He’s 100 years old…give the man a break

  4. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    ok JRoll, some contract year hitting, c’mon…

    • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:16 PM

      aww JRoll….

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    That was classic. Hernandez mimicking the balk.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Fuck you Hernandez….

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    THAT BALL WAS 3 INCHES OUTSIDE TO UTLEY!!! WTF

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      Yes…see the Fuck you Hernandez above. SMH

  8. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Lucky, lucky lucky!

  9. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Well…got a break there. Need to capitalize…obviously.

  10. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Martinez, Like STUD…

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Pujols is coming off first base a full second early. None of these umpires have the balls to call him on it or say a word to the guy but he does it every close play. It’s getting to be re-goddamn-diculous.

    • cintiphil - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:32 PM

      Did you ever play the game? We are not talking sandlot here. In this league, the players routinely take their foot off the base in order to prevent injuries. If the ump sees that it is done for that reason, they allow the out. If the foot comes off to be able to make the play, then the batter is safe. That’s why you always see the 1st baseman stretching with his foot ON THE BASE to show that he made the play, when the throw goes wide. He pulls it off early, then the runner will be called SAFE! GET IT?

  12. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    This is it. Big spot for Howard against the lefty. He doesn’t need to try and blast one here. Just get a hit and score the run.

  13. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Scrabble; likes to nibble. Low 90’s. Make him throw strikes. lay off the change, its never a strike.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Except right there.

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:29 PM

        Meh. He never did that as a Blue Jay…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:31 PM

        It’s because he hates Canadians.

  14. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    He can’t hit lefties. He just can’t do it. I’m probably just reacting to the last thing I saw, but maybe it’s time to PH for him in big spots against lefties. He missed a fastball right down the middle, took a hung change up, then swung at a bad pitch.

    • uberfatty - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Would you really PH for a $125 million player though? Won’t get it fixed by sitting on the bench, and he’s got 5 years of huge money coming.

      How many Philly fans here would have the team take back that contract?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:43 PM

        Like I said, I was probably just reacting to the last thing I saw. I had my fan hat on, not my rational thinking cap.

  15. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    What Lidge is coming in and not Lee? Really? With Albert up??

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Well good job there Lidge. Even hit 92 on the gun. I don’t think he’s hit 92 since 2008.

  16. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    And of course the show the flashback.

  17. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    The thing that everybody needs to keep in mind is, as I have said all year long, the Phillies are not built to outslug anybody. They are built to win with their pitching. And when that pitching fails them, they are in big trouble.

    So when Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt let them down by giving up 5 runs, they are not going to win. When Doc and Cole pitch the way they are supposed to pitch and keep the opposing team in check, they are going to win. Period. It is that simple.

    Lee and Oswalt were handed leads and they couldn’t hold them. Now it will come down to Doc in game 5 and we will see if the pitching fails them or if Doc can do his job and lead the Phillies into the NLCS.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      I agree on Lee…that was a 4 run lead. He needs to hold that. No question. This was a 2 run lead after the top of the first. Did you really think Oswalt was going to be to hold that?

  18. PhillieBirds - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    The Howard K in an 0-2 count was unfortunately as predictable as the fact that TBS was going to show that flashback

  19. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    Bottom of the order which has produced nothing up in the bottom of the 9th. At least get a few base runners to make it interesting.

  20. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Holy crap can he heave it. That’s a violent looking delivery Mott has there.

  21. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Well played by the Cardinals tonight. They deserved the victory. Look forward to game 5. Phillies need to wake the bats up. I hope to see CBP rocking.

  22. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    Great catch by JJ. Looks we get to see Harry LeRoy Halladay III do his thang v Carpenter. Oy, oy oy…

  23. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    The Phillies’ last three batters looked like a fucking joke. Worse 3 at bats I saw all year. The took strike after strike like they were scared to swing at anything. Absolutely disgraceful.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:49 PM

      Shane was trying to work the lead off walk to get the tying run to the plate. After the 3-0 count, he was clearly taking 2 strikes.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:53 PM

        And that was a bad move. This guy is a strike thrower. Take one strike down the middle, yes. Take two in a row down the middle, I have a big problem with that. Same type of at bats by Ibanez and Polanco. They looked almost scared to me to face Motte. Horrible at bats.

  24. aceshigh11 - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Oh man, this is EXCITING.

    Gotta love the tension!

  25. paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    The last 3 games make me wish the series was 7 games

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:09 PM

      Yeah man…completely agree. Not a fan of the 5 game series in general. At least 7. Personally, I would like to see a best of 11 for the NLCS and World Series, but that will never happen for obvious reasons.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:28 PM

        Agree completely….5 isn’t really enough to determine anything…an 11 game series with only 1 off day would be excellent.

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