Game 5: St. Louis vs Philadelphia, Does It Get Any Better?

Chad MiddletonContributor IOctober 6, 2011

It's only fitting isn't it.

There will be a game 5.

Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter. Two ex-teammates in Toronto. Two BFF's.

One shall stand and one shall fall. 

Every one has predicted that Philadelphia would make short work on the Cardinals. Most experts predicted a sweep. They said St. Louis couldn't hang with the Phillies. In fact, the Cardinals are short handed. Matt Holliday's injury will doom them. They have no pitching to match the greatest starting rotation. 

Yeah, I've heard them all.

But here we are with a Friday night, game 5 at 8:37 pm in Philadelphia. It won't be a game of shadows. 

Philadelphia is playing in an unlikely elimination game. St. Louis is playing in their 30th this year.

Don't get me wrong. Perhaps I'm just a dreamer, but I predicted this would be no sweep. In fact, I predicted a game 5 and hoped that we would get the pitching matchup that we have. The Cardinals have been way too tough in September to go quietly in the night.

Players like Skip Schumaker, David Freese, Ryan Theriot and Allen Craig have no quit button in them. They don't freak out when they have a sudden slump, nor do they put too much stock in playing well. They know it's a team sport. They know they have big bats in the lineup who can lead this team, but they play their role and contribute when others can't

They win as a team. They lose as a team. 

Heck, they even have the animal kingdom rooting for them. Enter the squirrel.  Some teams have rally monkeys. The Cardinals have the rally squirrel. Somebody needs to find that squirrel and bring him to Philadelphia Friday. Oh yeah, you can follow him on twitter @buschsquirrel.

This series has had it all. Halladay getting tagged hard in the first inning of game one. Cliff Lee gives up a 4-0 lead. Ben Francisco hits a pinch hit three run home run to win Game 3. Chris Carpenter goes three innings and the Cardinals still win. Roy Oswalt actually loses in the postseason. Albert Pujols coming up big -- but not at the plate?

It's setting up to be very climatic. Will Ryan Howard actually get a hit? Can the Cardinals get to Halladay? Can anyone stop Jimmy Rollins? Can the Phillies bullpen step up? Did Albert play his last game in Busch? Can Carpenter pitch the Cardinals into the NLCS?  Oh, so many questions to ponder. 

But in the end what we have is game 5. 

Halladay vs Carpenter. 

Bring your squirrels.