Playoff Series: Game 1 of 5

St. Louis leads 3-2 (as of 10/1)

Game 1: Saturday, October 1
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Game 2: Sunday, October 2
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Game 3: Tuesday, October 4
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Game 4: Wednesday, October 5
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Game 5: Friday, October 7
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    5:07 PM ET, October 1, 2011

    Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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    W: R. Halladay (1-0)

    L: K. Lohse (0-1)

    Ryan Howard picks up Roy Halladay, Phillies as Cards collapse in Game 1

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard took a mighty cut, dropped his bat and admired the shot.

    The big slugger didn't go down looking in a clutch spot this time, Roy Halladay overcame a shaky start and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6 Saturday night in the opener of their NL division series.

    Howard shook off his season-ending strikeout last October in the championship series to hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, sending Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy.

    "I left last year in the past," Howard said. "You can't let what happened last year affect this year. It's a fresh start."

    Halladay retired his last 21 batters, and the NL East champions began their all-or-nothing postseason run with a comeback win.

    Halladay allowed three runs and three hits, striking out eight in eight innings. He didn't allow a runner after Skip Schumaker led off the second with a single.

    "That's why he's the best in the game," Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols said. "We wanted to keep adding on it, but we just never put that inning together again."

    Game 2 is Sunday night, with Cliff Lee pitching for Philadelphia against Chris Carpenter, who is starting on three days' rest.

    Raul Ibanez hit a two-run shot off Kyle Lohse to cap the Phillies' burst in the sixth, and Shane Victorino had three hits and two RBIs.

    Last year, in his first career playoff start, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history in Philadelphia's 4-0 victory over Cincinnati.

    His bid for an encore in the first round didn't last one batter, and Lance Berkman hit the first three-run homer off Halladay in three years to put the wild-card Cardinals up 3-0 in the first.

    But the offense bailed out Doc.

    "I couldn't think of a worse start and putting your team in a hole like that," Halladay said. "But you get to this point, you're not going to pack it in."

    Lohse retired the first 10 batters before Chase Utley hit a double off the right-field fence in the fourth. The righty, who was 14-8 this season, ran out of gas in the sixth.

    Down 3-1, Jimmy Rollins singled to start the inning. After Utley struck out, Hunter Pence grounded a single up the middle. That brought up Howard, who heard a lot of criticism for taking that called third strike last year in the NLCS with the tying run on second base to end the Phillies' season against San Francisco.

    Howard worked a full count before launching a towering drive into the second deck in right-center to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.

    The towel-waving crowd went wild, and Howard came out for a curtain call.

    "In that situation, I knew he wasn't really going to throw a fastball, so I just sat on the changeup," Howard said. "Trying to get me to chase, but he just kind of left one up there hanging for me."

    Victorino followed with a single. Ibanez then lined a two-run homer to right to end Lohse's night.

    Lohse allowed six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

    The Cardinals scored three times in the ninth off relievers Michael Stutes and Ryan Madson, highlighted by Schumaker's two-run double.

    The two teams took different roads to get here.

    The Phillies cruised to their fifth straight division title, winning a franchise-record and major league-best 102 games. Anything less than a second World Series title in four years will be considered a failure by players, management and fans.

    The Cardinals needed an incredible collapse by Atlanta and help from Philadelphia to earn the wild card. St. Louis trailed the Braves by 10½ games on Aug. 25, but went 23-8 the rest of the way and got in after Game 162 when the Phillies completed a three-game sweep in Atlanta.

    For a while, it seemed the Phillies might regret helping the Cardinals reach the playoffs.

    A day after borrowing a line from William Shakespeare, saying he "came here to bury Caesar, not praise him," Halladay didn't back up his words right away.

    Rafael Furcal led off the game with a single and stole second. One out later, Halladay walked Pujols on four pitches. Berkman drove the next pitch off the mini-scoreboard hanging on the facing off the second deck in right field.

    "You have to beat those guys 3-to-whatever," Berkman said. "He's not going to give up much more than that. He's a great pitcher."

    The switch-hitting Berkman hit all 31 of his homers in the regular season from the left side. No. 32 was the first three-run homer Halladay allowed since Aug. 21, 2008, when Hideki Matsui connected for the Yankees in a 14-3 loss to Toronto.

    "He was kind of like a 'Rocky' movie," manager Charlie Manuel said of Halladay. "He got mad after he gave up that homer. That ticked him off and he hung in there and he got going. But he's special. He's everything people talk about."

    The Phillies will turn Berkman around the next two games with lefties Lee and Cole Hamels on the mound.

    Howard hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Victorino and Ibanez each had RBI singles in the inning to pad Philadelphia's lead.

    An unearned run got Philadelphia within 3-1 in the fourth. After Utley's one-out double, Pence struck out and Howard walked. Victorino hit a foul pop down the left-field line that should've ended the inning.

    But third baseman David Freese tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch and the ball fell out of his glove for an error. Victorino hit an opposite-field single to left to score Utley.

    Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who won it last year in his first season in the NL, was 19-6 with a career-best 2.35 ERA and eight complete games this season.

    He made certain the relievers stayed in the bullpen until this game was out of reach.

    A crowd of 46,480 was the 218th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play. The stadium resembled an apple orchard with all the red-clad fans.

    Game notes

    Cardinals RHP Kyle McClellan was disappointed that he was left off the roster because of a tired arm. "McClellan is a real weapon," manager Tony La Russa said. "That was a very tough call, and I know he's very upset with it, and he should be. Made totally on his best interest."... Only the New York Yankees (27) have won more World Series titles than the Cardinals (10). ... The Cardinals were 6-3 vs. the Phillies in the regular season. ... The Phillies are 15-7 in Game 1s, while the Cardinals fell to 16-19. ... The Cardinals didn't have five-time All-Star, LF Matt Holliday because of a hand injury. ... Howard is 9 for 18 with three homers off Lohse. ... The Phillies, who acquired Pence from Houston on July 29, are now 8-0 with all of their regulars in the lineup. ... Pence was 2 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs in his first postseason game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumCitizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
    Attendance46,480 (106.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:55
    Weather64 degrees, cloudy
    Wind10 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Chris Guccione, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Angel Hernandez

    Research Notes

    How Phillies starter Roy Halladay beat the Cardinals: Of the 57 pitches that Halladay threw down, 37 of them were on offspeed pitches. Halladay really relied on his curveball (21 pitches) and changeup (16 pitches) to get outs. Seven of Halladay's eight strikeouts were with offspeed pitches and the Cardinals went 2 for 18 with 10 groundballs (eight outs, season high) in at-bats ending with an offspeed pitch.
    Ryan Howard's HR off Kyle Lohse came on the 8th pitch of the at-bat. During the regular season Howard had 22 PA with 8 or more pitches and homered in just one of them. Lohse had 16 PA in which he threw 8 or more pitches and allowed a HR in NONE of them.
    From Elias: The last pitcher, prior to Roy Halladay on Saturday, to retire at least 21 in a row in one postseason game - Don Larsen in his perfect game on 10/8/1956.
    The Cardinals had lefty Jaime Garcia fully rested and available for Game 1 but chose Kyle Lohse instead, despite Garcia posting a 0.96 ERA in 4 career starts against the Phillies, all since 2010. The Phillies left-handed and switch-hitters were happy with that decision.

    HalladayIt wasn't quite a no-hitter, but Roy Halladay's 2011 postseason debut was just fine. He stumbled early, but by the end Halladay had himself a strong outing.

    Roy Halladay now has 3 career postseason hits for the Phillies. Only Steve Carlton, with 4, has more among pitchers.
    Kyle Lohse is the 3rd Cardinals starter to allow 6 runs and 2 HR in a postseason game. The others were Matt Morris in Game 1 of the 2002 NLCS vs the Giants and Jesse Haines in Game 3 of the 1928 World Series vs the Yankees.
    Ryan Howard gets his first postseason HR and RBI since Game 6 of the 2009 World Series. He had NO homers or RBI in 9 postseason games and 33 AB last year.
    Last year, the Phillies scored no more than 4 runs in each of Roy Halladay's 3 postseason starts. During the 2011 regular season, the Phillies scored 6 runs or more in 4 of Halladay's 15 home starts.
    Kyle Lohse allows 6 runs (5 earned) over 5 1/3 IP in his playoff start against the Phillies. That ties for his most runs allowed in a game against the Phillies set previously on May 4, 2009 when he gave up 6 runs in 4 1/3 IP and took the loss in a 6-1 defeat.
    Lance Berkman: 2nd straight game against Roy Halladay with a 1st-inning HR Halladay allowed just 4 HR in the 1st inning during the regular season

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