The Show must go on and it will without the two top favorites, the Yanks and the Phillies. Arizona was eliminated in extra innings and the Brewers are in also.
Recap of three games:
Game 5: Cardinals 1 Phillies 0
PHILADELPHIA — No longer are the Cardinals just on a late run. Put away those “playing with house money” and “nothing to lose” notions. Hopes have turned to expectations. St. Louis is playing for a pennant.
The Cardinals secured their first postseason series win since the 2006 World Series with a sensational 1-0 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night. The win gave them a 3-2 National League Division Series triumph over the league’s best regular-season team, and moved them into the NL Championship Series for a delicious matchup with their Central Division rivals, the Brewers.
Rafael Furcal and Skip Schumaker teamed up to get a single run for the Redbirds before the game’s first out, and a magnificent Chris Carpenter tossed a three-hit shutout to make it stand up. Carpenter, with some help from an airtight defense, outdueled his old friend and former teammate Roy Halladay en route to his sixth postseason win in 11 career starts.
Five days earlier, Carpenter had labored through three innings on short rest. On full rest, in one of the biggest games of his life, there was no getting to the 36-year-old.
The win was the Cardinals’ 26th in 37 games since late August, when they began a run from 10 1/2 games back to the NL Wild Card. They trailed in the series, 1-0 and 2-1, before winning the last two games against old nemesis Roy Oswalt and two-time Cy Young winner Halladay. The common narrative has been about how whatever the Cardinals achieve from here on out, it’s gravy, a bonus on top of a fun season.
The common narrative no longer really holds. Four wins from the World Series, the Cardinals are thinking big.
“I understand we had some struggles during parts of the regular season, but you look at this team and, my goodness, we’ve got as good an everyday lineup as you can run out there,” said Lance Berkman. “We’ve got several starters that are capable of shutting people down, and sort of a revamped and solid bullpen. And we’re playing good. That’s a good combination.”
St. Louis advances to the NLCS for the first time since 2006 and the 10th time in franchise history. The Cardinals will be aiming for the 18th NL title in franchise history, playing a rematch of the 1982 World Series, which St. Louis won in seven games.
The Phils’ ace of aces was brilliant on Friday and surely deserved better. But against Carpenter, long the Cards’ No. 1 horse, Halladay simply had no room for error.
“Any time you have Roy or any of those guys on the other side, it’s like ‘Carp’ and [Adam] Wainwright for us,” said Albert Pujols. “You know those guys are going to keep you in the game. They might have one inning that they have a tough inning, but besides that, they don’t make too many mistakes. And, obviously, Carp didn’t make too many today.”
Furcal led off the game with a triple to center field. Halladay got ahead of Schumaker, the next batter, 0-2, but couldn’t finish him off. Schumaker got the count full and ground out a 10-pitch at-bat that culminated with a go-ahead double to right field…….Read More
[stream provider=video flv=x:/yankeeology.com/yankeefans/wp-content/uploads/videos/RecapCardsPhilliesGame5.mp4 embed=false share=false width=510 height=320 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]
Game 5: Brewers 3 D-Backs 2
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers’ task was crystal-clear from the first day of Spring Training, when Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum were getting comfortable with a team that finally had a contender-quality pitching staff:
Win the National League Central, but don’t stop there. “If we would have lost today,” Ryan Braun said amid a shower of champagne on Friday night, “I think everything we accomplished all year would have been meaningless. We needed a win today to have our own legacy.” And now they do, though it took longer and forced a few more heart palpitations than any of the Brewers had hoped. A hysteria-inducing 3-2 win over the D-backs in Game 5 clinched the NL Division Series in front of 44,028 fans, sending the Brewers to a League Championship Series for the first time since 1982. They played the California Angels then, and Milwaukee was an American League town. They faced the Cardinals in that World Series, fitting considering those teams will meet again in the NLCS. The Brewers won a win-or-go-home NLDS Game 5 on Friday that was decided in the bottom of the 10th inning on Nyjer Morgan’s single after John Axford’s first blown save since mid-April. Cecil Cooper, meet Tony Clutch. Morgan, a.k.a. Tony Plush and a plethora of other personalities, gave the Brewers their first postseason series win in 29 years, and gave the franchise an iconic hit to celebrate alongside Cooper’s go-ahead single in the decisive Game 5 of the ’82 AL Championship Series to send the Brewers to their only World Series. General manager Doug Melvin, the man who acquired Morgan four days before Opening Day when the Nationals were looking to dump a player they viewed as a problem, grabbed both sides of Morgan’s head amid the clubhouse chaos and screamed Morgan’s signature sendoff: “Ahhhhhhhhh!” “One man’s trash is another’s treasure!” Morgan bellowed. He danced around wearing the same S.W.A.T. Team helmet he donned when the club clinched the NL Central last month. “Of course, [his series] started slow, but Plush is always going to finish strong.” How slow? Morgan was 2-for-15 in the series before his big moment, had snapped his bat over his knee after a fifth-inning popout and then misplayed a line drive in the sixth. But his winning hit to center field off Arizona’s outstanding closer, J.J. Putz, turned Morgan’s first career postseason series into a resounding success, fittingly scoring center-field platoon mate Carlos Gomez, who was at second base after a single and a steal. Gomez raced home, and the beer started flowing. “It’s a blue-collar town; we’re blue-collar kids getting after it,” Morgan said. The NLCS opponent still awaited as the Brewers celebrated with their deliriously towel-waving fans, but this much was clear: Milwaukee was four NLCS wins away from its first trip to the World Series since ’82……Read More
[stream provider=video flv=x:/yankeeology.com/yankeefans/wp-content/uploads/videos/RecapBrewersDbacksGame5.mp4 embed=false share=false width=510 height=320 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]
Game 5: Tigers 3 Yanks 2
NEW YORK — The Yankees wield the same lofty expectations for each season, which makes it easy to figure out what the objective is at the beginning. It makes closing nights like Thursday even more difficult.
The Yankees’ dreams of a 28th World Series championship were dashed and packed into winter hibernation, as the Tigers defeated New York, 3-2, in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
Alex Rodriguez struck out against closer Jose Valverde for the final out of New York’s 167th and final game of the season, marking the second time in as many years that the game’s highest-paid player has been the club’s final out of the postseason.
“It’s devastating,” Rodriguez said. “This is going to hurt for a long time. This one stings, especially at home.”
Detroit became the first visiting club to celebrate clinching a postseason series on the field at the new Yankee Stadium, moving on to face the Texas Rangers in the AL Championship Series opening on Saturday.
For the Yankees, the winter has already begun. They face an offseason headlined by the likely opt-out of ace CC Sabathia and the chance that Key Three member Jorge Posada has played his final game in pinstripes.
“It’s terrible,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s an empty feeling for everyone in that room, and it hurts. You’ve just got to remember this feeling, and we’ll be determined next year.”
New York’s only runs scored on a fifth-inning Robinson Cano home run off starter Doug Fister and a seventh-inning bases loaded walk that Mark Teixeira worked against Joaquin Benoit.
“It’s very disappointing,” Teixeira said. “Anything less than a championship is a lost year here. I’m proud of the way we fought all year long, but at the end of the day, we just didn’t get the job done.”
That it was Valverde gyrating on the field and leading the party in a wild clubhouse celebration rubbed salt in the wound for the Yankees, who heard him pronounce the series “over” loud and clear after Game 2.
“We had the guy that we wanted to beat,” Nick Swisher said. “All that talking he’s been doing, man — as much as I don’t want to say it, I do have to say, ‘Congratulations.’ Those guys pitched extremely well this series, especially against a potent lineup like ours.”……Read More
[stream provider=video flv=x:/yankeeology.com/yankeefans/wp-content/uploads/videos/RecapYanksTigersGame5.mp4 embed=false share=false width=510 height=320 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]