2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #4: The Phils are unable to clinch in St. Louis as they lose to the Cards, 5-3.
The Phils once again allow an early lead to slip away as they lose to the Cards, 5-3, forcing a game 7 in Philadelphia.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI triple, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had started the game off with a ground-rule double, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as Hunter Pence hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley. The Phils then ran themselves out of a big inning as Ryan Howard struck out, looking, on a 3-2 slider, before Pence is thrown out trying to steal second base by Yadier Molina, although replays would show that he was actually safe. The Cards then got a run back in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Lance Berkman hits an RBI double, knocking in Skip Schumaker, who had earlier singled, on a ball that had hit the wall, and was well played by center fielder Shane Victorino, who then, as he was getting ready to throw it in, slipped and lost control of the baseball, which then headed back towards the wall, which allowed Schumaker to score, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while allowing Berkman to reach third base on Victorino’s throwing error. The Cards took the lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, David Freese hits a two-run double, knocking in Matt Holliday, who had walked, moved up to second base when Berkman was hit by a pitch, then went to third on Molina’s line out to right, and Berkman, who had earlier been hit by a pitch from Roy Oswalt, giving the Cards a 3-2 lead. The Cards then took a 5-2 lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Freese hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the series, knocking in Holliday, who had earlier singled. The Phils got a run back in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Michael Martinez, who was pinch running for pinch hitter Ross Gload, who had gotten on base with a single, before going to third on Utley’s single, would score on Fernando Salas’ wild pitch, making it a 5-3 Cards’ lead, while sending Utley, who had just singled, up to second base. But that would be the ballgame as Jason Motte would collect his second save of the series as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Roy Oswalt (0-1, 7.50) took the lost as went six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five. Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge combined for two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter (Lidge) between them. Edwin Jackson (1-0, 3.00) got the win as he pitched six inning, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four. Arthur Rhodes collected his second hold of the series as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Octavio Dotel collected his first hold of the series as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Fernando Salas collected his first hold of the series as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a wild pitch. Marc Rzepcynski received his second hold of the series, as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Jason Motte recorded his second save of the series as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter.
The Phils had five hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy Rollins (Single, Double) and Chase Utley (Single, Triple, RBI), both leading the team with twe hits each. Hunter Pence (RBI), Placido Polanco and pinch hitter Ross Gload had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, as the offense continue to tail off after the first three batters, especially Ryan Howard, who, in a post-game interview, admitted he is being a bit antsy at the plate. The final Phil run came in on a wild pitch.
The Phils and Cards will play the fifth and deciding game of the series on Friday night in Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:37 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.38), who is coming off a win in the first game of the series on October 1, as he went eight innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 11-6 rout. Halladay will be trying to continue his post-season dominance, while trying to give the Phils the best chance to clinch at home. The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (0-0, 12.00), who is coming off a no-decision in the second game of the series on October 2, as he pitched only three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Cards’ 5-4 win. He will be trying to improve on his previous start. The Phils are expecting a strong performance from Doc Halladay, while seeing if they can not only jump on Carpenter, but this time pour it on like they did in game one of the series, to avoid another disappointing post-season.