Cardinals are headed to the NLCS

St. Louis 1, Philadelphia 0
St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter gave up just three hits in a complete game win over Philadelphia in the decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series.

PHILADELPHIA — Chris Carpenter tossed a three-hitter to outpitch old pal Roy Halladay in a duel for the ages and the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 on Friday night in the deciding Game 5 of their NL playoff series.


The wild-card Cardinals scored in the first inning when Rafael Furcal led off with a triple and Skip Schumaker followed with a double.

And that was it.

Heavily favored Philadelphia never broke through against Carpenter. Ryan Howard grounded out to end the game and hurt his leg coming out of the batter’s box – he limped a couple of steps and crumpled to the ground.

“It was some kind of fun, getting out there and was able to get that one run early off Doc, he was dominant the rest of the game,” Carpenter said.

“He’s a great friend of mine, and like I said, he did a great job tonight also,” he said.

The Cardinals needed a monumental collapse by Atlanta in the final month and major help from the 102-win Phillies just to reach the playoffs. Now they’re heading to Milwaukee for the NL Championship Series starting Sunday following a stunning upset in which they beat three of Philadelphia’s four aces: Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

In the ninth, Carpenter retired Chase Utley on a fly to the warning track in center and got Hunter Pence and Howard on grounders. Howard took a called third strike with the tying run on second base to end the Phillies’ season last year in the NLCS against San Francisco.