for this game

Carpenter outduels Halladay as Cards advance to NLCS

Oct 8, 2011 - 7:30 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Fully rested this time, Chris Carpenter pitched a masterpiece.

The Cardinals right-hander threw a three-hitter to send St. Louis past Roy Halladay and the Phillies, 1-0, and into the National League Championship Series.

Carpenter had started Game 2 of the series on three days' rest for the first time in his career and lasted only three innings, giving up four runs.

But Friday, in the decisive fifth game of the National League Division Series, Carpenter (1-0) stifled the Phillies for nine innings. He did not walk a batter, threw 70 of his 110 pitches for strikes, and struck out three.

"He was unbelievable," Halladay said. "Everything was down. Everything was moving. You hate to lose in a one-run game, but you have tip your hat to him."

The performance made a first-inning run stand up. Rafael Furcal began the game with a triple and scored on Skip Schumaker's double -- enough offense to give the Cardinals their first playoff series victory since 2006, when they won the World Series.

St. Louis will face Milwaukee, which beat Arizona earlier Friday in Game 5 of that series, in the NLCS. The opener is set for Sunday in Milwaukee.

Halladay (1-1) pitched eight innings after his early struggles, limiting St. Louis to six hits and a walk, while striking out seven.

But the Phillies' inability to score a run ended their season. They had high aspirations after winning a team-record 102 games during the regular season and assembling a pitching rotation with multiple aces.

However, they made an even earlier playoff exit than the year before, continuing a recent trend. Since winning the World Series in 2008, Philadelphia lost the World Series to the Yankees in 2009 and fell to the Giants in last year's NLCS.

"I feel very empty," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "I feel like that we've had support from our fans, and it's kind of hard. I don't really know what to say."

The Phillies could not have asked much more from Halladay, who fell behind thanks to some poorly placed pitches.

His fourth pitch to Furcal was a fastball up in the zone, and the shortstop drilled it to center field to reach third base. Halladay then engaged in a long at-bat against Schumaker, who lined the 10th pitch -- a hanging curveball -- to right field to plate Furcal.

The right-hander received some help during the next-bat, when second baseman Chase Utley fielded a spinning ground ball by Albert Pujols and fired to third to get Schumaker.

Halladay ultimately limited the damage to one run and didn't face another jam until the eighth inning, when St. Louis had the bases loaded with one out. He struck out Lance Berkman and got Matt Holliday to fly out to end his outing.

But he didn't receive any offensive support. Every scoring chance the Phillies had Friday was quickly shut down. Carpenter said he was able to get ahead in the count, control the strike zone with his fastball and use his breaking ball when he needed to.

"If you're aggressive and they know that, if they don't swing, you're going to be 1-2, 0-2, whatever it is early in the count or behind in the count, they're going to start swinging," Carpenter said, "and that's when you can start expanding the strike zone and getting the ball down, and getting them to swing at stuff you want them to swing at and producing good results."

Shane Victorino doubled with one out in the second before Raul Ibanez fouled out and Placido Polanco grounded out.

Then, in the fourth, Utley was hit by a pitch leading off. But a fielder's choice left Hunter Pence on first, and after Victorino singled to put runners on the corners with two away, Ibanez flied out to right.

A sixth-inning opportunity was halted when Yadier Molina caught Utley trying to steal second.

Utley nearly tied the game in the ninth, when he led off by smacking a fly ball deep to center. But Jon Jay ranged back to make the catch near the wall, and Carpenter retired Pence on a grounder.

The game, and the Phillies' season, ended with slugger Ryan Howard at the plate.

The first baseman hit a ground ball to second, where Nick Punto easily scooped it up. Punto walked several steps toward first before flipping to Pujols for the final out.

He had plenty of time to get the out because Howard had fallen to the ground halfway up the line with an apparent Achilles tendon injury. He said after the game he felt a "pop" and is set to have an MRI exam Saturday.

And as Howard lay on the ground, grabbing his left leg in pain and the season over, Pujols ran with his teammates toward Carpenter to begin their celebration.

Game Notes

Carpenter was making his 11th postseason start and threw his first complete game and shutout...Halladay pitched eight innings in his Game 1 start...The Phillies are 1-2 in final, decisive games of postseason series all-time. They beat the Astros in the final game of the 1980 NLCS and lost to Montreal in the final game of the 1981 NLDS.