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Road warriors fare well in NLDS Game 5’s

The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Phillies at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on Friday evening in the deciding Game 5 of their National League Division Series.

Normally, one would think the home club would have a decided edge in such an important contest, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, as we saw on Thursday evening, Detroit eliminated New York by winning Game 5 of the ALDS on the hallowed soil of Yankee Stadium.

In the Senior Circuit, past results of these Game 5 NLDS showdowns indicate a decided edge by the visiting club – unless the Cardinals were involved, that is.

Friday’s Cardinals-Phils and Diamondbacks-Brewers matchups are just the seventh and eighth such games in NL history. Two of the previous six should have an asterisk applied as they occurred in the strike-interrupted 1981 season, when first- and second-half winners faced off.

In the other four deciding Game 5’s, one held each year from 2001-04, the road team took three.

Interestingly, the Atlanta Braves of the NL East were the home losers each time. The collapse of the 2011 Braves helped open the door for the Cardinals to make the playoffs. That division also is the home of the Phillies, of course.

The recent losing visitor was the Cardinals at Arizona on October 14, 2001. The 2-1 defeat was nothing to be ashamed of as the Curt Schilling– (and Randy Johnson-) powered Snakes then went on to take the World Series. Future Cardinals outfielder Reggie Sanders’ homer was first run scored by Arizona that night.

Albert Pujols is the only common thread between that game ten years ago and Friday’s contest here in 2011. There are, however, other Cardinals familiar with the situation. In the most recent occurrence of an NL Game 5 road victory, Lance Berkman’s Houston Astros defeated Rafael Furcal’s Braves on October 11, 2004.

Home team results in NLDS Game 5

Date Game Home Road Home outcome Score
10/11/2004 NLDS 5 ATL HOU L 3-12
10/5/2003 NLDS 5 ATL CHC L 1-5
10/7/2002 NLDS 5 ATL SFG L 1-3
10/14/2001 NLDS 5 ARI STL W 2-1
10/11/1981 NLDS 5 LAD HOU W 4-0
10/11/1981 NLDS 5 PHI MON L 0-3

Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the above table.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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9 Responses to “Road warriors fare well in NLDS Game 5’s”

  1. crdswmn says:

    I’m not a big believer in omens, portents, curses, jinxes and the like, but last night’s defeat of the vaunted Yankees got me thinking about that game’s possible effects on the Cards/Phillies game. The Phillies are in the same situation as the Yanks were last night. Back in front of their very tough home crowd, their season on the line, the national media eye upon them. The Phillies can say what they want, but the pressure is all on them. They are expected to win, the Cardinals are not. A loss would be a disappointment for the Cardinals and their fans, but a loss for the Phillies would be a monumental devastation. Our media will analyze the loss for a few days, and then move on to the offseason topics and the hopes for next season. If the Phillies lose the Philly media will eat the Phillies team alive every day for months and twice on Sundays. There will be calls for heads to roll

    The question is how will the Phillies respond to the pressure? Will they rise to the challenge or will the fear of failure doom them? Stuff to ponder.

    • blingboy says:

      IMO, whenever the Phillies are out, all eyes will turn to the Eagles and the NFL. That’s how Philly is. Not really a baseball oriented town. Lucky for them, since our road warriors are going to pull the Phillies pants down and spank them in front of the home crowd.

  2. STLfan51 says:

    I’d feel alot better if Halliday had started those games when the home team lost game 5. But he didn’t. Halliday at home. Game 5. What a challenge. This Cardinal team has shown lately that the harder the challenge, the better they play. Going to be one of those games. Short end of the stick in 2001 @ AZ facing Schilling in game 5. Same challenge. Let’s hope for a better outcome. They can do it.

  3. blingboy says:

    ” . . . hallowed soil of Yankee Stadium. . . ”

    Harumpf, It was a parking lot three years ago.

    I’ll be heading out to pull an all-nighter at work, good luck to the Birds. Hope crdswmn gets to use those tickets. Am I dreaming it, or did Westy say he was going to the game?

  4. Brian Walton says:

    Lineup with some surprises…
    1. Rafael Furcal (S) SS
    2. Skip Schumaker (L) CF
    3. Albert Pujols (R) 1B
    4. Lance Berkman (S) RF
    5. Matt Holliday (R) LF
    6. Yadier Molina (R) C
    7. David Freese (R) 3B
    8. Nick Punto (S) 2B
    9. Chris Carpenter (R) P

    • blingboy says:

      Hope Skip steps up. Probably will.

      Rather have Theriot off the bench than Punto.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Jay……………whether you like it or not……..has been gaga at the plate…….he is capable of being a dynamic hitter…….but his recent “active hands” relapse, probably got him outed by committee……..
      Punto gives him stability……..and a realization that a slapper behind David Freese may be beneficial……

      Skip will play deep………tactically, they are baiting Phillie hitters to try the middle………obviously they have a plan for Carpenter who will be pitching accordingly……….the dink hit up the middle is how they will attack him……… this will balance out in the pitch sequences ………..

      The real question………. Tony has created a hype monster around the C-H clash………. he has Lohse as a backup…….. Manual can’t lift Halladay as easy as Tony can pop the top………… the short rest thing was way over hyped………Chris is tired and will likely be aggressive up front………if he survives the early innings, he may make 6……. but those early AB’s???? early innings will be monumental as the pressure builds on the Phillies………….. we need AP in this one……he has to give up his Hero ship to regain its power………if he is rogue……….who knows……… Skip has to stay short……if he is over swinging, Tony will yank him……….likely will do it by the 5th anyway………..Berkman and Holiday are the wild cards…………. Molina is either the hero or the chump…….if he is lounging on AP island….they will pitch around Holiday every time after the first round…………..

  5. crdswmn says:

    So I am hearing there is a big stink because some of the vets ran out on the media last night. What do you know Brian?

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