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Was Carpenter’s the best clutch playoff start in Cardinals history?

As baseball fans know, St. Louis Cardinals right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter threw a three-hit, complete-game shutout at the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series Game 5 on Friday night.

While it was one of the greatest individual performances in a pressure situation in the rich post-season history of the Cardinals franchise, was it the very best?

With the help of researcher Tom Orf, I present the list of 11 Cardinals pitchers with 13 complete-game shutouts in the post-season. Bill Hallahan and Bob Gibson had two each.

Player Date Series Gm# Opp W-L Score Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB SO
Jesse Haines 10/5/1926 WS 3 NYY W 4-0 SHO9 W 9 5 0 0 3 3
Bill Hallahan 10/4/1930 WS 3 PHA W 5-0 SHO9 W 9 7 0 0 5 6
Bill Hallahan 10/2/1931 WS 2 PHA W 2-0 SHO9 W 9 3 0 0 7 8
Dizzy Dean 10/9/1934 WS 7 DET W 11-0 SHO9 W 9 6 0 0 0 5
Ernie White 10/3/1942 WS 3 NYY W 2-0 SHO9 W 9 6 0 0 0 6
Mort Cooper 10/8/1944 WS 5 SLB W 2-0 SHO9 W 9 7 0 0 2 12
Harry Brecheen 10/7/1946 WS 2 BOS W 3-0 SHO9 W 9 4 0 0 3 4
Bob Gibson 10/8/1967 WS 4 BOS W 6-0 SHO9 W 9 5 0 0 1 6
Bob Gibson 10/2/1968 WS 1 DET W 4-0 SHO9 W 9 5 0 0 1 17
Bob Forsch 10/7/1982 NLCS 1 ATL W 7-0 SHO9 W 9 3 0 0 0 6
John Tudor 10/23/1985 WS 4 KCR W 3-0 SHO9 W 9 5 0 0 1 8
Danny Cox 10/14/1987 NLCS 7 SFG W 6-0 SHO9 W 9 8 0 0 0 5
Chris Carpenter 10/7/2011 NLDS 5 PHI W 1-0 SHO9 W 9 3 0 0 0 3

Let’s look at some of the contenders.

Carpenter – He was given just one run of support in a deciding Game 5. Though it was the NLDS, it was on the road against the regular season MLB wins leader. His three hits and no walks tied for the fewest baserunners allowed among the 13.

Danny Cox – 1987. It was the deciding Game 7, though in the NLCS against the Giants. Cox was given six runs by the St. Louis offense, including four in the second inning at Busch Stadium.

Gibson – 1968. An amazing 17 Detroit Tigers struck out in Game 1 of the World Series during “The Season of the Pitcher.” The Cards scored three at home against Denny McLain in the fourth inning. I still watch the video of this most dominating performance on video every now and then. In this context, however, is Game 1 the same as an elimination contest?

Mort Cooper – 1944. Playing their local rivals, the Browns, the Cards went into Game 5 tied 2-2. Cooper received single runs in the sixth and the eighth innings and fanned 12. The two runs of support tied for least in the 12 CG shutouts prior to Carpenter’s start. The Cards finished off the Browns in Game 6.

Dizzy Dean – 1934. The future Hall of Famer threw a six-hit shutout with no walks in Game 7 of the World Series on the road in Detroit. Dean was given seven runs in the third inning with which to work.

Who do you like and why? Vote below and explain.

Who had the best clutch playoff start in Cards playoff history?

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73 Responses to “Was Carpenter’s the best clutch playoff start in Cardinals history?”

  1. RCWarrior says:

    I voted Carp because his victory was against the heavily favored Phillies, in an elimination game, and in Philadelphia to boot. It really was one of the better performances I have witrnessed in recent memory. No one can argue with the fact that Carp can be an absolute beast on the mound.

    Gibson had the more electrifying performance but in a game one the stakes are not quite as high imo.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Carpenter-for the reason RCW listed.Hostile stadium,Facing favored team and only 1 run to work with,

  3. Brian Walton says:

    Game 2 lineup: Furcal 6; Jay 8; Pujols 3; Holliday 7; Berkman 9; Molina 2; Freese 5; Punto 4; Jackson 1.

    • blingboy says:

      Last night, Jaime wasn’t able to mentally handle adversity in the fifth after having handled it in the first. That inconsistancy with handling the stress and mental aspect is not surprising for a rookie leading off the LCS. Jaime can be a cool customer, so I don’t fault Tony or anything, like a lot of people, for letting him get singed around the edges. Builds character. Losing that battle might help win the war. A lot of wars over the course of his contract.

      Its not likely to happen to Jackson. Hopefully he will escape the first without too much damage, and settle in. He should produce a quality start.

      Albert proved his point last night, and can quit sulking. Absent ridiculous heroics like Carp in game 5, we can’t win without him. Point made, lets get back to baseball.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Read this BB…………….. this is what Brian could be saying…………but doesn’t…….Brian………. the reason why is very obvious to some ……………. the answer to the writer belows query……….. Tony is fending for himself………… thats why Molina is still hitting 6th….to encourage the posse…. Tony has been given a possible scenario for saving his job…………… and AP…………… its not genuine………. its a BD/Mo glass of hemlock…….but he drank it………….. and now has to wait for his maker…………

        http://www.insidestl.com/insideSTLcom/McKernan/tabid/61/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/7556/He-Did-It-Again.aspx

        • blingboy says:

          Westy, if Mo is going to spend Albert’s money on Garcia, Tony is right to let us see if it was worth it.

          Wasn’t as bad as the blow out game earlier, but this is post-season. The kid needs to toughen up. Probably would have toughened up better with a lighter wallet, maybe Mo should’ve waited.

          • crdswmn says:

            What is with this “Albert’s money” crap? Granted it’s a miniscule portion, but I would rather have my portion of “Albert’s money” go to somebody who is actually contributing something to this postseason run. And so far it ain’t Albert.

            • blingboy says:

              I agree. Tony just wants to make sure Mo has no place to hide if Albert leaves. Mo, being observant enough to realize that, will try extra hard. Tony can be pretty smart sometimes.

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                You both are a little twisted here………….. I mentioned some time ago here that when we got to the place I was describing, you still wouldn’t get the point…………. Its difficult to image any imagery that will actually allow you to see ………………….. give this some thought……….. Molina hasn’t played well of late, and to be honest, as I’ve said again and again, that the mental fantasy he has about being a complete player, just doesn’t really mesh with hi skill set………. his demeanor at the plate, just by being moved up a position…….. is silly………the swing privileges he assigns to that advancment , are detrimental to this team……….. as has been proven by even the most jaded observer………….AND YET HE REMAINS THERE………….. give it some thought……….. why is Pujols flat?…….when will he start the limp?……has somebody reminded him what being a good teammate…….on a team he isn’t contributing much to….will cost him in leverage?????????? or is that why he’s flat?????????? the Westbrook and Lohse commitments have started to be attacked again……Tony leading the way………and that has nothing to do with Garcia……… he was just the only available move Tony could make……….just like adding Punto today…..without adjusting Molina……Mo, his go between comrade, gave him an idea of how the might save up some of that face saving cash….to give AP…or sign Furcal………… intimating that surely Tony will be back……even if AP leaves………. BD…decide and conquer…..guy is good………………… it really isn’t about baseball…….. its about utilizing power…influence………. he is pulling of a sensational play here ……… think of what a boom year he will have in 2012…….and he earned it……………………………………………….

          • RCWarrior says:

            2005 draft class is not Tony’s favorite. Jaime got security from Mo but he is earning every penny having to deal with Tony. Trust Me on that one. :)

  4. blingboy says:

    I’ve been thinking about Brian’s comment that Gibby would never be able to manage today’s players, and keeping an eye on Kirk to see how it goes. Great connection. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

    Imagine Gibby dropped onto this Cards team.

  5. blingboy says:

    What’s with all the Mark McGwire quotes in the paper this morning. Hardly hear a word all year.

  6. RCWarrior says:

    Albert didn’t feel like limping tonight…….nice 2-run jack. :)

    Marcum is fixing to wear one tonight.

  7. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Guy is having a hard time throwing strikes…………………. and Tony goes hit and run with Berkman with 2 strikes………Holiday running………….. that went well……….. Berkman may comment on that…… nice swing by AP on a very bad pitch……….lets hope RC is right………

  8. blingboy says:

    Morgan is no Jim Edmonds out there.

  9. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Good call on Marcum RC…………. I’ll be interested to see how well Jackson recovers from the knockdown………. He should be throwing many sliders………….few fastball strikes………Dave tried to slow his early use of the money pitch …………had to change his mind…….I’d like to see him go 6…….absolutely no more…………

  10. blingboy says:

    Now he can start limping

  11. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Who is this Pujols guy?????????……………. and why do Holiday and Berkman just shrink up when he is feeding………………… Albert clearly has taken a few “tips” today about his hitting…………. hits to center and right means he is waiting and reacting…….not guessing……….. I would love to bury these guys today………… Nyger at the bottom of the pile……… rot the whole barrel that way…………….

  12. JumboShrimp says:

    Yesterday, we had a 3 run lead, but Garcia has thrown more innings than ever before and is sagging. He lost it in the 5th.

    Tonight we have a 5 run lead. They get 2, we answer with 2 more, back breakers. We have hard throwing Jackson out there, not soft Garcia.

    Another good sign is the Cards have drawn blood first in both games. We are out to win. They remember they got swept at home a month ago. Now we are back and its no cakewalk for the Brewers.

    Nyger Morgan misplayed one of Pujols’ doubles. Gave us a run with lousy defense.

  13. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    First base is open……………….why waste a lefty?? walk him and bring in Salas …….

  14. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Did you just see that exchange between Dave and Tony????????? Kind of spooky…….Tony isn’t well it would appear………..and where’s Salas……….. Lynn??? this seems a bit much for a guy just getting back..

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Wow…………..he looked safe……….but we’ll take it………… one lefty to burn late………

  16. blingboy says:

    Let the pen adventure begin. Tell us about the goat and the t-rex Westy, that’s my favorite part.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      We might have done this yesterday BB………they were ripe for a beating……….. I like the fact that Nyger may be sitting…………… if we win the next two……..they will sign Furcal……..just for effect…

  17. JumboShrimp says:

    Salas had no problems with the bottom of their order.
    Braun and Fielder are handfuls no matter what, so we do not want the rest of their lineup to do much.

  18. JumboShrimp says:

    TLR needs to use the bullpen like a prevent defense in football. Dont let them get any easy scores.

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I hope you bet the Mortgage on your hunch RC…………….and the biggest movement of the year….AP/MH and LB strung hits…………….. now thats Jumbo a style whoopee…………

  20. blingboy says:

    3 innings is a long time.

  21. JumboShrimp says:

    Glad the Brewers brought in Hawkins. We were killing Loe.

  22. blingboy says:

    I bet Chambers is having the time of his life, in the post-season. He has a career line of 8 regular season PAs, and will likely have more than that in post-season.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      If Chambers had not gotten a few hits among those 8 at bats, he would be watching Patterson play on TV. He got a couple of hits and TLR decided to go with the hotter bat.

      Message game tonight. We let them off the hook yesterday and steal one. Not tonight. We are kicking them and are not going to let them escape.

      It must be tough to be a Brewers fan. Cards fans have hopes of keeping Albert. But Brewers fans must know they cannot afford Fielder. Their 2012 lineup is going to be weaker. So for the Brewers, they have to win now. Their backs are against the wall and they will fight hard. They had a great season. But they already know they are going down.

  23. JumboShrimp says:

    The Brewers do not have a Holliday on the mound. The Cards should get runs. It would be nice to sweep at home, take care of business.

    This Cards team has a good lineup. Freese has 3 homers in the last 4 games. Molina is a good hitter for a catcher. Furcal is a good hitter for SS. Matt Holiday is back in there. I like our chances.

  24. Kansasbirdman says:

    Woooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  25. Kansasbirdman says:

    Should be a happy flight :-)

  26. JumboShrimp says:

    I was surprised we got 5 runs off Greinke, because he can be tough. The Cards have looked great with the bats in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are very tough. We are hot at just the right time of the year.

    • blingboy says:

      Getting hot at the right time is one thing money can’t buy.

      Great to see Lynn get the win. Very efficient one pitch outing. The blown call helped, of course. Got about what I expected out of Jackson.

  27. Kansasbirdman says:

    Lynn gets win with one pitch. That ever happened in postseason before?

  28. Bw52 says:

    Great win.Albert and Freese big flys.Jackson serviceable tonite.Pen okay.Now on to STL.

  29. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The Brewers are having a pitching crisis…………… and we are contributing to that by taking advantage of some improved strike zone interpretations………. John Jays game was almost as startling as AP spraying the ball around tonight …………. MM seemed to be positively involved in all transformations ……. kudos……..I wouldn’t forget where we stand with pitching………………we’re are along way from the finish line……….. huge game for them on Wednesday,………..should they lose with Gallardo, that sets up Lohse nicely……….. they are very worried about the Wolf match up………as they should be……..Should they win with Gallardo………… game is on……….. Punto wednesday …theriot on Thursday…… with Craig in center ……….thats likely all you will see…….

    Tex absolutely bashes the Baseball…….. and they do it right………….beating Milwaukee has to be productive for our pitching ……….. as its stands Tex kicks our butts……… we need to build some serious momentum should we hope to excel there………… like not having Carp pitch a game 7 for a start………….they look like they may sweep Detroit…….they will be rested and likely have their rotation maximized…………..

  30. RCWarrior says:

    I don’t like any team against this Cardinals team right now. They can flat out hit it. I predicted 10 I think against the Brewha’s tonight and got 12. The Brewers may not win another one.

    Albert was en fuego tonight as was Jay. Freese has really been showing some power of late. Hot dog the whole team is killing it. :)

    The last two times Gallardo has pitched against the Cardinals he has gotten his brains beat out. I expect nothing less when he toes the rubber the next time verses the Cards.

    I really had a feeling that this Cardinals team may win it all when the Phillies worked so hard at keeping the Braves out of the playoffs. Getting hot at the right time is what championships are made of.

    • blingboy says:

      I don’t like our chances against any of the high payroll teams. Oh, wait.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      I like your attitude. I can’t remember when the Cards were last favored in a game………… I look for Wednesday to be like -110 St. Louis……..little more than a home field nod……… If Carp stays focused, and we keep hitting, we could pick up some serious momentum……….. the more I see the Brewers, the more I think Weeks actually slows down their team chemistry……….. also, by holding out Nyger, really just to attempt to gain control of the club, Roineke really did us a favor. He was right to do it, but the guy was a focus point for their swagger. If we can bury him, I like our chances. They have a front running team…………..really doubt they come from behind to capitalize on their home field at this point ……………
      Lets be honest about the rout………….. I Molina becomes any less focused than he is now…..you’re going to notice it……… He is starting to get a little punk in his pitch calling……… AP’s attempts at mounting the team as if he has solved all his problems, falls right in that same category….

      In that same respect……….the Brewers pitching crisis is savaging them emotionally………add in Fielder’s struggles…. along with the presses acknowledgment that his days in Milwaukee are numbered, he just may turn to a ball and chain……..Nyger getting crushed under foot …………..

      Phillies gained control of there destiny by winning………they avoided Dbacks and the Brewers……………………………………….surprise!!!!!!!!!!…….. Give this some thought………we played a little better last night………the Brewers pitching was really awful………our strength right now is the Bull pen momentum with the rest days………… it would really help to get 7 innings 3 days in a row……….that would pretty much win it I think……….

      • blingboy says:

        One of the intriguing things will be Tony’s pitching staff management calls. The Jaime delayed hook and the Rhodes WTF have me on the edge of my seat. He might do anything.

        In the ninth when Yadi at 1b snagged Furcals one hopper, Tony let out a whoop in the dugout. Probably first time all year. My eyebrows went up a bit on that, too.

        • Brian Walton says:

          On your last point, here is one guess. Had Molina been unable to make the play and MIL had gone on to get back into the game, TLR would be loudly second-guessed for giving Laird a brief showing and Albert a tiny rest. I suspect TLR was relieved when Molina handled the short hop.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            Tony is a risk taker……………….. the apology AB for Lohse……………. the only way he gets laird an AB on the road is to keep Molina in the game………he took that chance……….Rhodes? Maybe he was concerned about Rhodes preparedness…………Rhodes was clearly mystified by this……..and actually did the right thing…….didn’t give in……….. Tony has went completely mental at this point, thats why he is running everything by Dave…..who is also still trying to get up to speed……. Tony is mentally exhausted……..mainly I think do to the complexities of this group of head cases……….. on the plus side, he is relegating more authority with a much more specific expectation lined out……… Jay was gotten under control……….AP took some criticism……. and he sobered up after the Sunday malaise……..

            I believe Tony is care taking at this point………fathering……much more than usual……. he alone knows how shaky the AP situation is…….but he is tiring fast………shingles outbreak just waiting in the shadows…..the fear is palatable……… I believe he will retire if we get to the WS…………..

            AP has spent way to much energy attempting to resurrect his own mythology ….over a single performance….. since that is the foundation of his spiritual conundrum……..wild guess says thats not a good idea……….. Berkman better get back to doing his thing…..Lance is showing no power away…..which leads me to believe his right shoulder is still a concern………….

            • RCWarrior says:

              Word is Tony has been acting like a normal human these last 6 weeks or so. Man thats good to hear. I believe Freese and Jay have been getting some love out of him which will do great things when you mix that type of stuff in every now and again. Like I said earlier, good for Tony. He has done a great job of changing a stale approach and look what it has done to his team. They are the best team in baseball today. Thats mighty good stuff right there. :)

            • blingboy says:

              Good point about keeping Yadi in the game while getting Laird in there.

              Brian’s point good too, stress induced display of euphoria.

              My guess, Tony could use a steak and a beer. . . . and Mrs Tony.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        Fielder struggling? — is this a comedy forum?

  31. blingboy says:

    Valverde always looks like a guy who never pitched a baseball in his life. Very awkward looking.

    Earlier, I was having a cold one with a guy, and we were wondering if Colby would get a ring if the Cards go all the way.

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