By Matt Snyder
Hero: There's no question here. Chris Carpenter went out and dominated with no margin for error. He was spotted a one-run lead in the first inning, and then fellow ace Roy Halladay locked in for the Phillies. Carpenter himself probably knew he was going to have to throw a shutout. And he did.
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Turning point: We're going to have to be flexible with the term here, because there wasn't really a big turning point. The Cardinals had a 1-0 lead after two batters and held it the entire game. So we'll go with this: With runners on first and third in the in the bottom of the fourth inning, Raul Ibanez sent a Carpenter pitch deep to right field. It nestled into Lance Berkman's glove on the warning track and the only real threat to the Phillies scoring multiple runs was averted.
It was over when ... Ryan Howard grounded out to end the game. He's liable to hit a home run at any second, so the 1-0 lead was never safe until the game was finally over.
Next: The Cardinals head to Milwaukee to face off against the Brewers -- in what has become a pretty heated rivalry. Now we'll get to see it for seven games. Will there be any T-Plush vs. Chris Carpenter issues? What happens if the Brewers pitch Albert Pujols inside and Tony La Russa has a pitcher dot Ryan Braun? The list could go on and on, but there's no need to get into all that right now. It's gonna be incredible entertainment, but this night is the time for both NL Central teams in the playoffs to celebrate their victories. They can look ahead Saturday.
Video: Carpenter, La Russa speak about the victory.
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