Pitching Duel in Philly: Cardinals vs. Phillies Game 5 NLDS
On Friday in Philadelphia, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies will play the fifth and final game of the 2011 National League Division Series. On a day when this will be the final division game of the playoffs, the series is nothing like experts have predicted so far. All 8 experts chose the Phillies to win, only two of which picked in 5 games. It's safe to say the Cardinals are the underdogs here but let's really put that into perspective. The Phillies are the teams that at the start of the year, they were predicted to win the division and walk to the world series. The Phillies ended the regular season with 102 wins, the most in franchise history and the most in the Major leagues this year. The same season with all the buzz surrounding Albert Pujols contract negotiations and preseason injuries, the Cardinals secure a wild card berth in game 162 of the season. The Cardinals started September, 10.5 games out of the wild card. The Cards make it to the playoffs with a three-game sweep of the Braves by the Phillies in the last 3 games of the season. So its only fitting that they face the Phillies in the first round. In a back and forth series, it comes down to game with a home-field advantage for Philadelphia. But not only is it the biggest game of the year for each team on Friday, it is also the biggest game of two Cy Young winning pitchers in Chris Carpenter and Roy Halliday.
Carpenter vs. Halliday
In 1998, Roy Halliday made his Major League debut for the Toronto Blue Jays. Three days later Chris Carpenter took the mound for the Blue Jays in his start against the Baltimore Orioles. Carpenter was released by the Blue Jays in 2002 and then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Last year Halliday signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Both started out as pitchers expected to pick it up quick and learn on the fly. They helped each other out for a long period of time in Toronto and have continued a friendship up until this day. They have never faced each other before and are looking forward to the matchup. Both stars have won Cy Youngs, with Halliday winning one in both leagues. Halliday has more overall accomplishments than Carpenter. Carpenter does have one thing that has alluded Halliday and that is a World Series Championship Ring.
So it's safe to say that this is another addition to so far great end to the Major League Baseball season. Game 5 is set and its shaping up one of the greatest games to date in the postseason. You have the scrappy underdogs the St. Louis Cardinals looking to defeat the odds once again and beat the best team in the Majors in the postseason. With Matt Holiday back in the lineup, will this pose to be a difference in the final game? The Philadelphila Phillies are looking to put their ace on the mound and keep the World Series hopes alive. Will Halliday prevail in the pitchers duel? When the Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers is set for the AL. What do we have to expect from the NL? Who is moving on to the National League Championship?