MLB Playoffs 2011: Who Will Survive Game 5 and Move On?

Jon O'ConnorCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2011

Ryan Roberts "Tatman" Hitting a Grand Slam in game 4
Ryan Roberts "Tatman" Hitting a Grand Slam in game 4

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers

After four games, only the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers are not playing a Game 5, as the Rangers sent the Rays to an early exit. 

With that being said, early on it looked as if the Arizona Diamondbacks were headed for a similar fate after falling behind two games to the Milwaukee Brewers. The home team has won every game in this series with Arizona catching fire in Games 3 and 4, scoring 18 runs with 24 hits and five homers over the two games.

Hitting .279 as a team in the series, the major question here is can the Diamondback go to the toughest place to win in Major League Baseball this year and steal a game from the NL Central champs?

The pitching matchup in this one is a great, the Diamondbacks will send out Cy Young candidate Ian Kennedy (21-4) and the Brewers will counter with Yovani Gallardo (17-10). Can the D-Backs win their third in a row and go into Milwaukee and stun the Brew Crew ending a promising season? It's all about the Brewers surviving the newly proclaimed "Sneak Bite" to make the Championship Series for the first time since 1982, when they were in the American League.

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

The Yankees survived elimination in Detroit in Game 4 to send it back to Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers went off for 10 runs without using the long ball. That was backed by the pitching of AJ Burnett to force a deciding Game 5. Burnett earned the win going 5.2 innings scattering four hits and allowing only one run in what was possibly the biggest start in his career

Game 5 could be a high scoring affair, neither teams have their ace starting and the story looks to be the offense. CC Sabathia could be available out of the bullpen, the Yankees said while Justin Verlander for the Tigers will not. It's Ivan Nova (16-4) going for the Yankees, while the Tigers will send Doug Fister, who is 8-1 with Detroit after he was picked up from Seattle in a midseason trade. Will the Yanks go to their 10th ALCS in 17 years, or can the Tigers send New York to an early October exit? 

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The most intriguing Game 5 to me, is the Cardinals and Phillies. The Phillies have the most impressive starting pitching rotation, quite possibly in MLB history. But the Cardinals have managed to bring their late season surge into the playoffs after storming into the wild-card chase and eventually overtaking the Atlanta Braves.

Again with their backs against the wall in Game 4, the Cardinals battled back to beat with Phillies 5-3 and force a deciding game in Philadelphia. With that comes one of the greatest playoff pitching duels you may see this October, Roy Halladay (19-6) going against Chris Carpenter (11-9).

Carpenter got roughed up in Game 2 of this series as he was lifted after three innings, giving up four runs on five hits only to see his team battle back and beat Cliff Lee. Halladay gave up three runs in the first inning of Game 1, but ended up going seven shutout innings after that, allowing his team to go to work and take Game 1. The Phillies were the preseason favorite to go deep into October and in the NLDS, disaster looms as the Cardinals look to play spoiler. 

Legends are born in October, who will rise to the occasion in Game 5?