Cheap Seats

October 9, 2013

NLDS Game 5s have been good for the Cardinals

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Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

I'm not sure how Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates is going to pan out.

But I hope it's a game as epic as the deciding game of the 2011 Redbirds and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

That was possibly the best game I have ever watched. A titanic pitching match-up in which Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter squared off against his Philadelphia counterpart -- and close friend -- Roy Halladay. The game was played in a ballpark tilted heavily in the favor of hitters. But, when it was all said and done, only one run was scored in the contest. And it belonged to the Redbirds.

St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal tripled to lead off the game then Skip Schumaker hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive the run home... And that was it. Carpenter pitched a complete game in which he allowed only three hits. And as the last out was recored, Carpenter let loose with a primal scream worthy of the occasion as his teammates mobbed him.

It was such a monumental performance that it overshadowed the National League Championship that followed in which the Redbirds defeated their bitter rivals the Milwaukee Brewers. 

I hate that Carpenter wasn't able to get healthy and continue his career. He's not only the greatest pitcher I have ever seen in a Cardinals uniform. But he's by far the best competitor. 

Bob Gibson was in his twilight before I knew what was going on in this world. But Carpenter gives me the sense that I know what Gibby was all about on the mound.

 

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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