October 14, 2011
Score and situation: 'Tis better to give than to receive? Not at Busch Stadium on Friday night. The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of four Milwaukee Brewers errors while recording a 7-1 victory in Game 5 of the NLCS. The win puts them one triumph away from the 18th National League pennant in team history.
Leading lads: Albert Pujols(notes), Yadier Molina(notes) and Jaime Garcia(notes) all contributed RBI as the Cardinals built their lead on the backs of the Brewers' blunders. Garcia allowed only one run over 4 2/3 innings and the St. Louis bullpen kept Milwaukee off the scoreboard the rest of the way to cinch the win. Matt Holliday(notes) added a two-run RBI double in the eighth to put the game farther out of reach.
[Related: Cards one win away from pennant]
Head hangers: Where to start? Jerry Hairston, Yuniesky Betancourt(notes) (below) and Jerry Hairston all committed errors on Milwaukee's infield, leading to a total of three St. Louis runs. Milwaukee starter Zack Greinke(notes) didn't receive any help from the defense behind him, but was far from effective himself. He faced 30 batters, but didn't record a single strikeout. As for the impotent Brewers offense, their lone run came from a RBI single from Corey Hart(notes).
Key play: One batter after making an unbelievable diving catch for an out at third, Hairston let a Garcia groundball go through his legs. A clean play would've ended the second inning, but the two runs that scored set the tone for the night.
Interesting stat: Greinke produced only two swing-and-misses over the 89 pitches that he threw.
What they'll be talking about: St. Louis needs only one more win to advance to the World Series, but they'll need to record a victory at Miller Park. They already showed they can overcome that disadvantage in a Game 2 win and Game 6 will feature the exact same pitching matchup. The series is there if the Cards want it.
What's next: The series moves back to Miller Park for Sunday's Game 6 with the starting time scheduled for either 4 p.m. ET (if the ALCS goes seven games) or 7 p.m. (if the ALCS concludes on Saturday). Scheduled starters are Shaun Marcum(notes) for Milwaukee and Edwin Jackson(notes) for St. Louis.
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