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.
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.