TONIGHT'S GAME:The Cardinals and Astros meet tonight for Game No. 5 of this best-of seven NL Championship Series...tonight's game is televised by Fox with Thom Brennaman, Steve Lyons, Bob Brenley and Kenny Albert calling the action...the series is also carried on ESPN Radio with Dan Schulman and Dave Campbell and ESPN Spanish Radio with Eduardo Ortega and Carlos Alfonso...KMOX Radio will carry the game on the Cardinals Radio Network.
TONIGHT'S STARTER:Chris Carpenter makes his third start of the postseason and second of the NLCS. He earned the win in Game 1 by tossing eight innings and allowing two runs of five hits in 8.0 innings. He also accounted for two runs with a successful suicide squeeze and sac bunt.
NLDS: Chris pitched six scoreless innings in Game 1 of the NLDS vs. San Diego in the Cards 8-5 victory.
CARPENTER VS. HOU:Chris went 4-1 in his five starts vs. the Astros this season, starting and ending his seasonagainst the Central foes...pitched two complete games, a shutout and a combined shutout...had a complete game, three-hit shutout on 7/17 and allowed just two runs in a complete game on 9/3.
CY CANDIDATE: Over the course of the 2005 season, Carp put up his best numbers, winning 21 games and recording a career low 2.83 ERA. Chris had a career-high 13-game winning streak from 6/14 - 9/8 that covered 16 starts and was the longest win streak by a Cardinals pitcher since 1968 when Bob Gibson won a club-record 15 consecutive...went 13-1 with a 2.45 ERA (154.0 IP/42 ER) in his last 20 starts (six no-decisions) including three shutouts and six completegames...during this span opponents batted .209 (115-550) against him while he walked 25 and struck out 130.
GAME 6: The start time for Game 6 is slated for 7:28 p.m. CDT on Wednesday in St. Louis, if necessary... Mark Mulder is scheduled to take to the hill in Game 6 and it would be his third start of the postseason (1-1, 1.32)...he took the loss in Game 2, despite pitching 7.0 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits while walking two and fanning eight...Mark has induced 26 ground-ball outs this postseason and six flyouts...was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the NLDS vs. SD, allowing one run on eight hits in 6.2 innings.
GAME 5 HISTORY: The Cardinals are 1-5 in NLCS Game 5's, losing their last four, and have been shut out three times...the Redbirds only victory came in 1985 vs. the Dodgers (3-2)...the four straight losses were by a combined score of 26-1, including a 14-0 loss to Atlanta in 1996 and 7-0 loss at the Mets in 2000.
DIVISION SERIES RECAP: The Cards defeated San Diego in a three-game sweep to advance to the NLCS...the Redbirds batted .284 as a club as Reggie Sanders recorded an NLDS record with 10 RBI...the pitching staff posted a 3.67 ERA with the starters posting quality starts in each game, going 3-0 record with a 1.45 ERA...Pujols led the squad with five hits (.556 avg.) and four walks.
RECENT REDBIRDS: The Cardinals finished the regular season campaign with 100 wins, sweeping the Reds in the final regular series to be played in the current Busch Stadium...the 100 wins gave the Cardinals back-to-back 100 win seasons for just the second time in franchise history and for the first time since 1942-44 when they had three straight 100 win seasons... the Redbirds' 100-62 record is the best in baseball for the second straight year...the team went 44-30 after the All-Star break and had an equal 50-31 record at home and on the road...the pitching staff's 3.49 ERA was the best in the league, capturing the ERA title for the first time since 1969.CARDS 216:St. Louis has posted 216 wins, including postseason, over the last two seasons...their record over this span is 216-130, which calculates to a .624 winning percentage.21st POSTSEASON: St. Louis is playing in the postseason for the 21st time in franchise history...the Cardinals own 16 N.L. Championships and nine World Championships...this is the eighth League Championship Series the Cardinals have played in and they have won four of the previous seven...the Cardinals have won back-to-back division titles for the first time since the beginning of divisional play began in 1969.
POSTSEASON ROAD: The Cardinals have played 83 road playoff games in its history, which is second-most all time among franchisesto the Yankees (169)...the Redbirds all-time.
RARE TRIPLE:The Cards have lost three consecutive games while scoring three runs or less in each for the first time this season...St. Louis scored three runs or fewer in 49 of their 162 games this season...the Cards longest losing streak of the season was three games, set on three different occasions, and they last lost four games in-a-row in the World Series.