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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. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    And I could bring up the bad baserunning with the Pence attempted steal of 2nd with Howard at the plate that caused Howard to be frozen at the plate for a called 3rd strike or I could bring up the bad baserunning decision by Utley to go to 3rd on an obvious fielders choice that he was thrown out on. The Phillies played bad baseball all the way around. They were terrible.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      Pence was safe. I don’t think Pence in motion caused Howard to freeze. He thought it was a ball. Perhaps it was but it was too close to take. I have mixed feelings about what Utley did. I understand what he was trying to do, but not sure that was the right time for it. Good play by Albert.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:12 PM

        It was a bang bang play at 2nd on the Pence steal. They replayed it a few times. To close to call. The bottom line is that when there are no outs and you have your 4th hole hitter at the plate, you do not try and steal a base. Ever. Too much of a distraction to your 4 hole hitter, especially when Howard has 2 strikes on him. Bad move.

        Utley was completely wrong with trying to run to 3rd on a fielders choice. He was thrown out at 3rd. Took a runner out of scoring position. Never good.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM

        Well, I totally disagree and the results prove it. The ball was high and Hernandez screwed the call. The throw was late and the 2nd base ump screwed that call. All and all terrible calls together screwed the Phillies out of a minimum of 1 run in the first. Not bad plays at all. As far as Utley’s play…if he wasn’t running, they would have forced him. And only a couple 1B make that play…unfortunately, one of them is Pujols. I’m never going to criticize Utley when he is playing hard. It took a perfect throw and Pujols coming off the bag to get him.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM

        Pence was clearly safe. Didn’t need the replay and when they did show it, it was a fairly easy call…whoever the ump was just plain missed it.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:08 PM

      HB, the pitch to Howard was clearly ball 4…high and outside. Pence was clearly safe. That one play cost the Phillies a minimum of 1 run and who knows how fucked Jackson would have been had the idiots in blue not handed him 2 outs like that.

      Horrible horrible job by the umps. Phillies didn’t do themselves any favors, but the umps cost them at least a run and maybe 2.

      Now, we hopefully get a well umped game in game 5 and Doc shuts the door. If the umps fuck the Phillies again, then it is going to be a long off-season.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:17 PM

        I don’t want to talk about game 5 until tomorrow, Chris. I want to talk about this game and get some shit off my chest. First of all, Pence was not clearly safe. I watched the replay several times and his leg and the tag arrived at the same time. Bang Bang play. Ump called him out. Pence should not have been trying to steal to begin with. Not with ZERO outs and your 4 hole hitter in a 2 strike count. NEVER!!! BAD BASEBALL.

        I don’t want to here umpire excuses. The Phillies shot themselves in the foot with bad baseball.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:19 PM

        Running on that play came from the bench. Pence is not on his own. I liked sending him and I think Howard knew he was going. It was on Howard to swing at the pitch….like I said too close to take.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        We will agree to disagree.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        Good Doctor,

        Howard saw Pence running as the pitch was thrown. It distracted him. I have seen this type of play a thousand times. That’s why you don’t do it in this situation, especially with a non-contact hitter like Howard. If the call to do this came from the bench or wherever, they were wrong to do so.

  2. paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Pretty amazing really….Philly did nothing at all on offense after the first 3 batters….no hard hit balls

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:05 PM

      Yeah, unfortunately I’ve gotten use to the offense in spurts.

  3. stlducks - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    why would pence stealing make howard freeze on a third strike? it was a most likly a run and hit and howard sucked it up like usual. If he doesnt hit a homerun he is just a waste of an AB..Also what was wrong with Utley running? Any other first baseman just gets the out amd is to scarred to throw to third.
    For once instead of saying the Phillies suck just give the cards some credit

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      Pitch to Howard was ball 4. Umps screwed Phillies out of at least 1 run in the first…maybe more. Jackson was in trouble and the umps bailed him out with two terrible calls. Oh well. Let’s hope the umps don’t fuck the Phillies again in game 5 and Doc shuts the door.

      • Meg - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:19 PM

        Both pitch FX and mlb.com showed the called strike three to Howard as a strike on the outside edge—certainly not high.

        On the Pence caught stealing, if you watched the replay, the glove hits the leg pretty much right when the toe hits the bag. He might have literally beaten the tag, but that’s a play that’s called “out” 9 times out of 10, and it’s certainly close enough that one shouldn’t consider it an example of a blown call.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        Nah Meg, his entire foot was on the base when the tag swept his leg. He was clearly safe…that was a blown call. Like I said about the Howard strike out…I thought it might have been slightly off the plate, but it was too close to take with two strikes.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:21 PM

        Oh stop…the ball was outside and Pence was safe. Period. Yeah, both were close calls. So what. They were both wrong. And both together cost the Phillies a minimum of 1 run.

        Oh well…it’s Doc Time. If the Cards beat Doc on the road in game 5, then hats off to them!!!

      • cintiphil - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        You Philthy fans sound like a bunch of whinney bitches. You lost, get over it and hope and pray that Halladay pulls them out of it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        I have Phaith in Doc. Doesn’t change the facts, my friend.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        Chris, the zone they show on the tbs broadcast is no where near accurate. According to pitchFX, which is highly accurate, that pitch to Howard was easily a strike.

        Link: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/numlocation.php?pitchSel=429719&game=gid_2011_10_05_phimlb_slnmlb_1/&batterX=4&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3

        (I don’t know why pitches 3 and 5 are not shown)

        Otherwise, Hernandez was not horrible…but he wasn’t good either…he did screw philly on about 8 pitches, some that should have been strikes for Oswalt that were called balls and some that should have been balls that were called strikes against philly hitters….I didn’t see any call at all…zero…that went “against the Cardinals”.

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

        Seriously cintiphil…shut the hell up. What, we can’t discuss the game? Nobody is whining, just talking about influential aspects of the game. Stop fucking trolling and add something to the conversation.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        paper, when I watch a game, I dont have to look at pitch fx or anything else. The ball when it passes Howard is above the belt and outside. They freeze the frame on CSN and it shows clearly where the ball was. Now, if a ball a full 2 inches outside and 2 inches above the belt is a strike to pitch fx, then I guess I am wrong. But if you watch the game, see the way the ball is frozen as it passes Howard, you will see it is a ball. Forget Pitch FX and MLB and all of the boxes. Watch the pitch…it is clearly high when it passes the plate. Use your eyes.

        And Pence was so clearly safe I don’t even know how to argue with someone who doesn’t see that. Both plays were close, but both calls were dead wrong.

        Either way, see you all Friday for game 5.

        IN DOC WE TRUST

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:31 PM

        Yeah, I stopped looking at the TBS zone yesterday. It just didn’t look right to me. It’s obnoxious because sometimes my eyes just are drawn to it.

      • paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        The problem with the video is that you don’t know where the camera is…angle can affect perception a lot…some stadiums have the camera directly behind the pitcher and higher…other have them lower and in left center…if you are used to watching broadcasts from one angle and then watch a game from another one…it looks like the ump is seriously screwing up calls. PitchFX is based on a crapload of cameras from all over the park focused on the path of the pitch, it is accurate to way less than an inch….the thing I do not know is where it records it crossing the plate…at the front, back, or somewhere in between.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        trust me paper, the phillies local post-game show looked at it from about 8 different angles, stop motion, and as it passes the plate, it is on the left side of the catcher’s mask and it is above Howard’s belt. Hernandez screwed the pooch seriously on that pitch…then the 2nd base ump blew the Pence steal and it was inning over.

        Overall, though, there’s once again no fucking excuse for the Phillies bats to shit the bed for 6-7 innings at a time. If they don’t score early AND often in game 5, they are going to be home early and it will be the worst season in the history of the franchise. Period. I don’t care how many wins they had during the regular season.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:13 PM

      I will give the Cards some credit here. They came up with the big hits when they needed them. Obviously the Phillies did not. Also, Jackson settled in after the first inning. The pitch to Howard was too close to take but it looked outside.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

        Oh yeah, Freese kicked Oswalt’s ass tonight. No doubt about it. And the Big Piece didn’t have a good night at all. It’s coming down to game 5. It’s just a shame that the umps really screwed the pooch both ways on that call…it was a HUGE call because Jackson was in trouble if they didn’t mess things up. First and second no outs and 2 runs in is much different than 2 outs nobody on. Terrible.

  4. gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Delicious that was, and on to the drama of a deciding game 5. The match ups, the tension, everything on the line, one season ends and one goes on,, it is all so tasty!! I like how the short 5 game series builds quickly to a dramatic end, love it in this series for sure. A deciding game 5 in NY and Phillie, good stuff.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:17 PM

      Are you English? You talk like an Englishman…using terms like delicious and tasty. I’ve only ever heard the English use those terms in reference to sports.

      • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        Am eating this series up. A little tension, a little controversy and some good baseball, it is sweet, like a sweet slice of pie.

        Pressure is all on Phillie. All the mountain of expectations fall on Halladay the Holy. I am near sure he can handle it and will be beastly. Will that line up show up? Outside of Pence, they often look just about geriatric. An off day to let it simmer and then we will know. Delicious.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM

        Seriously man, are you going to answer the question? It is a legit question.

      • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        Not a Brit.
        hungry

      • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:31 PM

        Really, delicious and tasty is just a bit further than “sweet” to describe a play or a win eh, or “bitter”, or “sour”,,, get all your senses involved.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        Oh, I get it. I like the terms actually. It just isn’t common to use when describing baseball. I’ve only heard it referencing soccer. I fully support your use of them…don’t think that means anything to you but you have it anyway.

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but anyone else having issues with comments? None of the threads on the first page show comments for me. It just says “2 Comments” or “5 Comments” with nothing showing.

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

      to note, is happening on Chrome, Firefox and IE as well as on my Droid phone.

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

      Yeah, on the squirrel thread it doesn’t show what the comments are, but like you said it shows the number. If you post a comment then you can see them. Not sure about this thread…haven’t tried to go back to previous pages.

    • paperlions - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Same for me….can’t see comments in the other posts.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Look, Utley plays hard and is a great baseball thinker. I’m one of his biggest fans. But that was a bad running mistake. It was a hit and run play, Utley was already standing at 2nd and decides to make something more out of nothing. Pence gets thrown out at first and Utley should be standing on 2nd.

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

      ***Edit. Pence should have been thrown out at first and Utley should be standing on 2nd. That’s what the end result should have been.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      I’ll never kill Utley for being aggressive. Like I said above, it took a perfect throw and the 1b coming off the bag to get him. Unfortunately, Pujols did that and they got Utley. If the throw isn’t perfect, it’s now 1st and 3rd with no outs.

      Look at it this way…Howard flew out and Shane grounded out anyway, so it didn’t cost them anything anyway.

    • gogigantos - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      bad hustle play on Utely’s part cuz he didn’t make it, it took a standout play from Pujols, but for sure, giving up outs at third is not a great thing

  7. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Hey everybody, a recap thread was just posted. The comment section appears to be working fine.

  8. spudchukar - Oct 6, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Yep, once again the Phillies would have won if the umps didn’t blow it.

    This is why we non-Philly Phans find it so difficult to endure your righteousness. We have forced you to Game 5 because we have played well, and while you surely have the best team on paper, winning is about performance not reputation.

    Come Friday, once again, the cards are stacked against the Cards. Remember this, we still believe we can beat you. And that is powerful.

    Good Luck, cause we are coming to Philly, and we are bringing hell with us.

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