Tonight's National Anthem will be performed by Carol Woods.
Throwing out tonight's ceremonial first pitch will be Frankie Velasquez.
GOD BLESS AMERICA:
Tonight's rendition of God Bless America will be performed by Carol Woods.
Houston hosts St. Louis in Game Five of the 36th National League
Championship Series...The Astros staked themselves to a 3-1 series lead with a
2-1 win Sunday afternoon...Brandon Backe allowed one run over 5.2 innings of
work and fanned seven Cardinals batters while four Astros relievers combined to
one-hit St. Louis the rest of the way...Jason Lane went deep for Houston in the
bottom of the fourth to tie the score at 1-1 before the Astros plated the winning
run in the seventh inning on Morgan Ensberg's sacrifice fly that brought home
Willy Taveras...The Astros advanced to the LCS after defeating the Atlanta
Braves three games to one in their best-of-five Division Series while the
Cardinals swept the San Diego Padres 3-0 in the Division Series round.
GAME FIVE NOTABLES:
Since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1985,
all but one series (Atlanta vs. Cincinnati in 1995) has gone at least five games.
This is the 11th time since the best-of-seven format began in 1985 that a
team has jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the NLCS...Eight of the previous 10 teams
went on to advance to the World Series...The only two teams to lose with a 3-1
lead were the 1996 Cardinals (led Atlanta 3-1, lost 4-3) and the 2003 Chicago
Cubs (led Florida 3-1, lost 4-3).
Since 1985 the home team is 12-6 in Game Five of the NLCS, including
5-1 in the last six years (Atlanta lost to Arizona at home in 2001).
In the 10 previous times a club held a 3-1 lead, four of the series ended
in five games, four ended in six games and two went to a seventh and deciding
game...The last team to hold a 3-1 lead and close out the series in five games
was San Francisco over St. Louis in 2002.
ASTROS IN GAME FIVE:
The Astros are 1-2 in Game Five in their previous three
trips to the NLCS...Houston was eliminated from the 1980 NLCS by Philadelphia
after the Phillies won 8-7 in 10 innings in Game Five...The Astros also lost 2-1 in
12 innings against the Mets in Game Five of the 1986 LCS...Last year Houston
took a 3-2 series lead after beating St. Louis by a score of 3-0 in Game Five here
at Minute Maid Park.
CARDS IN GAME FIVE:
The Cardinals are 1-5 in the six previous times the club
has played in a Game Five of the NLCS...The Cardinals have lost five straight
times in Game Five...St. Louis has been shut out three times (1996, 2000 &
2004) in Game Five of the LCS...The club's only win in Game Five of the LCS
occurred in 1985 against Los Angeles.
Tonight is a rematch of Game One in which St. Louis' Chris
Carpenter won a 5-3 decision over Andy Pettitte...Pettitte hasn't lost back-toback
starts in the postseason since losing in Games Two and Six of the 2001
World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks while he was a member of the
New York Yankees.
THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB:
Tonight is Andy Pettitte's 11th start in a LCS
game...He's been the winning pitcher twice in his career in games that have
earned his club a berth in the World Series...On October 13, 1996, as a member
of the New York Yankees, he allowed two runs in 8.0 innings of work and won a
6-4 decision against Baltimore's Scott Erickson in Game Five of the ALCS...He
also beat Seattle's Aaron Sele in Game Five of the ALCS on October 22, 2001
to clinch the Yankees berth to the Fall Classic against Arizona.
A HERO CAN SAVE US:
Chris Carpenter won a major-league high 12 games on
the road this season...The Cy Young candidate won 12 straight road games
before suffering his only road loss on September 23 in Milwaukee...His .923 road
winning percentage is tops all-time among Cardinals (minimum 10 wins)...The
Cards lost in each of Carpenter's last three road starts during the regular season.
PETTITTE IN THE POSTSEASON:
Andy Pettitte will be making his 33rd postseason
start this evening, surpassing Roger Clemens and Tom Glavine...Pettitte also
ranks third all-time in innings pitched (199.2) in postseason play behind John
Smoltz (207.0) and Tom Glavine (201.1).
Houston has outscored the Cardinals by a total of three runs
(13-10) after the first four games of this year's series...In last year's seven game
series between St. Louis and Houston, the Cardinals outscored the Astros by a
total of three runs (34-31).
LOST: St. Louis enters tonight's contest with a LCS record seven game road losing
streak...The Cards haven't won away from Busch Stadium in this round of the playoffs since Game Three of the 2002 LCS
against San Francisco...Four teams have lost six consecutive road LCS games (the last to do that was Houston from 1986-2005).
LIVING ON THE EDGE:
Since 1996, Tony La Russa's club is 3-5 when facing elimination in the playoffs...Two of those wins came
last year when the Cards returned to St. Louis trailing 3-2 in the LCS before rallying to win the series 4-3 over the Astros...The
Cards are 2-3 since 1996 in the League Championship Series round of the playoffs when facing elimination.
SEALING THE DEAL:
Houston is 2-8 all-time in the postseason in series-clinching opportunities...The Astros have gone 0-4 in potential LCS clinching games, including 0-2 last year after losing a 3-2 lead in the series and in 1980 when they led Philadelphia 2-1 before losing the series in five games.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Astros were the NL's wild card winner, finishing in second place in the Central Division with an 89-73 record...Houston finished 11.0 games behind St. Louis in the division.
Houston advanced to the LCS by defeating the Atlanta Braves three games to one in the Division Series...The Astros clinched their berth to the LCS after winning in 18-innings Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
|10/5|| ATL||Pettitte|| 10-5|
|10/6 ||ATL|| Smoltz|| 1-7|
|10/8|| HOU|| Oswalt||7-3|
|10/9|| HOU||Clemens|| 7-6|
The Cardinals won the NL Central, finishing 11.0 games ahead of the Houston Astros.
St. Louis won 100 games for the second straight season for the second time in club history...The Cards also posted triple digits in wins in three straight years from1942-44. The Cards swept San Diego three games to none in the Division Series.
|10/4||STL||Carpenter|| W, 8-5|
|10/6||STL|| Mulder|| W, 6-2|
|10/8|| SD||Morris|| W, 7-4|
The Astros are playing in the LCS for the fourth time in club history...Here is how they have fared in the previous three . . .
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
|1986||New York||L, 2-4|
|2004||St. Louis||L, 3-4|
St. Louis is playing in its eighth LCS....Here
is how the Redbirds have fared in the previous
THE TOUGHEST THREE OUTS:
|1985||Los Angeles||W, 4-2|
|1987||San Francisco||W, 4-3|
|2000||New York||L, 1-4|
|2002|| San Francisco||L, 1-4|
Houston's Brad Lidge is now just one of seven pitchers to collect three saves in a NLCS...The only pitcher to record four saves in a LCS was Dennis Eckersley, who did so in 1988 with the Oakland A's...In addition, Sunday's save for Lidge was the fifth of his career in the NLCS...He is now tied with St. Louis' Jason Isringhausen, Tug McGraw and Robb Nen for most career saves in the NLCS.
Houston enters tonight's game with an opportunity to advance to the World Series for the first time in club history...The
Astros are one of six current teams in Major League Baseball that has yet to play in the World Series (also Washington/Montreal,
Colorado, Seattle, Texas and Tampa Bay).
A CENTRAL CHAMPION:
Sunday night the American League Central Division champion Chicago White Sox clinched a berth to the World Series for the first time since 1959...Last year the Cardinals became the first NL Central representative to advance to the World Series since Major League Baseball switched to six divisions in 1994...No Central team has ever won the World Series since the six division format began in 1994...Here's a look at each division and how many World Series representaives they've each had over the last 11 years (no World Series in 1994)...underline indicates World Champions...
AL East -- 7 (New York '96, '98, '99, '00, '01, '03, Boston '04)
AL Central -- 3 (Cleveland '95, '97, Chicago '05)
AL West -- 1 (Anaheim '02)
NL East -- 6 (Atlanta '95, '96, '99, Florida '97, '03, New York '00)
NL Central -- 1 (St. Louis '04)
NL West -- 3 (San Diego '98, Arizona '01, San Francisco '02)
SQUEEZED AT THE JUICE BOX:
The Astros have won seven straight postseason games at Minute Maid Park and are 8-3 all time in their new home...Their last loss came in Game Four of the 2004 Division Series against Atlanta after the Braves broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the ninth inning for a 6-5 win...The longest home winning streak during the postseason is 10 games, which was accomplished by the New York Yankees from 1998-2000.
FOURGET ABOUT THE PAST:
The Cardinals have lost three straight games for the first time since a three-game slide from September 22-24...St. Louis did not lose more than three in a row at any point this year during the regular season...The Redbirds haven't lost four in a row since being swept by the Boston Red Sox last year in the World Series.
THE LAUNCH PAD:
The Astros have gone deep a total of 16 times in 11 playoff games here at Minute Maid Park and have homered in all but one of those games (October 10, 2001 vs. Atlanta in a 1-0 loss in the Division Series).
A SHINING STAR:
Houston's Craig Biggio went a combined 7-for-54 (.130) with a double, RBI and four runs scored in his first four postseason appearances from 1997-2001...In the last two years, Biggio has gone 24-for-86 (.279) with seven doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and 14 runs scored.
The Astros have gone 2-for-31 (.065) with runners in scoring position in the first four games of this year's
LCS...Houston hit .261 with RISP during the regular season.
Houston's bullpen has recorded a 1.76 ERA (30.2ip/6er) this year in the postseason...Astros relievers finished fourth
in the National League in ERA (3.65) behind St. Louis (3.17), San Diego (3.49) and Washington (3.55).
RED BIRDS ON THE ROAD:
St. Louis' 50-31 road record was tied for second-best among all major league teams along with the
Cleveland Indians...The only team to boast a better road record was the Chicago White Sox, who went 52-29.
This is the first time two teams are facing each other in the NLCS in back-to-back seasons since Pittsburgh
and Atlanta in 1991-92...Los Angeles and Philadelphia also met in the NLCS in back-to-back years in 1977-78.
Each of the last three World Series Champions has been a Wild Card team (Anaheim in 2002, Florida in 2003 and
Boston in 2004)...The NL Wild Card team has advanced to the World Series in two of the last three seasons (San Francisco in 2002 and Florida in 2003).
GO THE DISTANCE:
The last two National League Championship Series have gone seven games (also Chicago vs. Florida in 2003) after each of the previous three were decided in five games...Since the league went to a seven-game format in 1985, 14 of the last 19 (74 percent) NLCS have gone at least six games.....That breaks down to seven that went the full seven games and seven that were decided in six games.
Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Cardinals have posted a 24-18 record against the Astros (including postseason)...
Here's a breakdown of the two clubs against each other since the beginning of 2004.
THRU THE GATES:
| ||St. Louis||Houston|
|Home Runs|| 50|| 47|
Here is a game-by-game report on this year's NLCS attendance, net gate and players' pool.
GAME 1 RECAP
|HOU vs. STL|| Attendance||Net Gate||Player Pool|
|Game One @STL||52,332||2,559,019.76||1,535,411.86|
|Game Two @STL||52,358||2,559,685.19||1,535,811.11|
|Game Three @HOU||42,823||2,259,233.26||1,355,539.95|
|Game Four @HOU||43,010||2,268,960.74||1,361,376.44|
|Game Five @HOU|| || || |
|Game Six @STL|| || || |
|Game Seven @STL|| || || |
| ST. LOUIS||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||0||x||5||8||1||4|
7:29 p.m./68 degrees
TIME OF GAME:
CHRIS CARPENTER (1-0)
ANDY PETTITTE (0-1)
JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (1)
SANDERS (1), BURKE (1)
COLONEL SANDERS LEADS THE WAY:
Reggie Sanders has knocked in 12 runs in his first four games of this postseason...Sanders' first
inning bomb was also his first in 20 career LCS games...Reggie has also knocked in at least one run in 10 straight games dating back
to the regular season (a total of 22 RBI).
Chris Carpenter tossed 12.0 straight scoreless frames this postseason before surrendering the two-run home run to
Chris Burke in the seventh inning.
PETTITTE IN THE POSTSEASON:
The start by Andy Pettitte was the 32nd of his career in the postseason, tied for most among active pitchers
along with Tom Glavine...Andy also had his five game LCS winning streak come to an end...The five runs allowed by Pettitte were
also the most in his postseason career since surrendering six on Novemer 3rd in Game Six of the 2001 World Series in a 15-2 loss vs.
Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
SHORT AND SWEET:
Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein has gone 7-for-17 in his first four games of this postseason...Eckstein finished
second among all major leaguers in hits from August 1 thru the remainder of the regular season with a total of 79...San Francisco's
Randy Winn had a major league high 83 base knocks in that time period.
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
Houston and St. Louis have scored a combined 19 first-inning runs in the last two NLCS...The only game neither
team scored a run in the first inning came in Game Five in Houston before Jeff Kent broke a 0-0 game with a three-run walkoff home
run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
THE POWER OF ONE:
The winner of Game One of the NLCS has advanced to the World Series in each of the last 12 years...The 1991
Atlanta Braves were the last team to lose Game One of the NLCS but still advance to the World Series.
BIRDS OF PREY: The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 16-0 in the first four innings of this postseason.
The home team has won each game played between these two clubs in the last two NLCS...In addition, the Cardinals
have won nine straight games at Busch Stadium in the LCS and Division Series rounds of the playoffs (their last home loss in the first
two rounds of the playoffs came in Game Two of the 2002 NLCS vs. San Francisco).
Houston's Chris Burke has homered in his last two at bats this postseason...In addition to Wednesday, his 18th inning walkoff
home run Sunday afternoon vs. Atlanta ended the Division Series...Burke's pinch-hit blast was the 11th in NLCS history...It was also the
third pinch hit homer by an Astro in postseason play (also Mike Lamb in Game One of the 2004 NLCS and Daryle Ward in Game Three
of the 2001 NL Division Series).
HOW MAY I ASSIST YOU:
Mark Grudzielanek's eight assists tied a NLCS record for assists by a second baseman in a nine inning
game...Grudzielanek also had eight assists as a member of the Chicago Cubs on October 8, 2003...Philadelphia's Manny Trillo also recorded eight assists on October 7, 1980.
GAME 2 RECAP
| ST. LOUIS||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||6||0||8|
ROY OSWALT (1-0)
MARK MULDER (0-1)
BRAD LIDGE (1)
Thursday's win by the Astros snapped a six game road losing streak in LCS games...Houston is now 3-8 on the
road in NLCS history...The Houston victory also put an end to St. Louis' seven game winning streak dating back to the regular season...
St. Louis' nine game winning streak at home in the first two rounds of the playoffs also ended Thursday.
The Cardinals trailed in a game Thursday for the first time since the fourth inning in the final game of the regular
season against the Cincinnati Reds on October 2.
DEALING WITH THE CARDS:
In his last two starts against St. Louis, Roy Oswalt has allowed two earned runs in 14.0 innings of work
(1.29 ERA)...Oswalt also allowed one run over 7.0 innings in his start at Busch Stadium last month on September 27.
LET'S GET IT STARTED: Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder have posted a combined 1.80 ERA (15.0ip/3er) in the first two games of this
GAME TWO TRENDS:
The road team has now won Game Two of the NLCS on 22 of 36 occasions...In 19 of the 36 NLCS, the loser of
Game One has bounced back to win Game Two...In NLCS history, the loser of Game One has come back to win the series on 10 occasions
(the most recent was the 1991 Atlanta Braves).
HITTING THEIR STRIDE:
The Astros are 4-0 this year in the postseason when they bang out 10 or more hits.
FROM THE TOP:
Houston's 1-2-3 hitters went a combined 6-for-14 on Thursday.
Albert Pujols' home run in the sixth inning was the sixth of his career in the NLCS...Steve Garvey has a NLCS-high eight
career home runs.
LIGHTS OUT LIDGE:
Brad Lidge has not allowed a run in 10.0 innings of work in five career appearances in the NLCS...He also picked
up his third career NLCS save in this evening's tilt.
Houston's bullpen has posted a 1.82 ERA (24.2ip/5er) in the first six games of this year's playoffs.
St. Louis' Reggie Sanders left the game with a lower back sprain.