Chris Carpenter threw a complete game three hitter and out pitched his good friend Roy Halladay, as the Cardinals move onto Milwaukee for the NLCS with a 1-0 win over the Phillies.
Both pitchers matched up to the hype…after the first two hitters. The Cardinals got off to a fast start with a lead-off triple from Rafael Furcal and a double by Skip Schumaker to jump on top 1-0. From that point on, Halladay would settle down, allowing just four hits and a walk from that point on as he pitched eight innings. That is all the offense the Cardinals would be able to muster up, or even need for Carpenter.
Carpenter induced 15 ground ball outs, and pounded Philly’s left handed hitters with sharp inside breaking balls all night. However, there were a couple of deep outs that had fans holding their breath. In the bottom of the fourth, Raul Ibanez flew out to deep right with a runner on, backing up Lance Berkman to the wall. Then, Chase Utley flew out deep to the wall in center leading off the bottom of the ninth. Nick Punto and Furcal, played solid up the middle making several good plays to help out Carpenter who finished off his second complete game in his last three starts.
Ryan Howard, the St. Louis native and Missouri State alum, went 0 for his last 15 and made the final out on a ground out to Nick Punto. As Howard left the box, he appeared to go down with an ankle or heel injury and made it just halfway down the line before collapsing.
Not sure what Skip Schumaker’s availability will be for the NLCS. He left early in the game with an oblique injury.
Remember this…the Phillies asked for this. They battled hard and swept the Atlanta Braves at the end of the season, helping St. Louis get into the playoffs. Had Atlanta won the wild card, Philly would have hosted Arizona.