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CARPENTER OUTDUELS HALLADAY
From Elias: Chris Carpenter threw a three-hit shutout and did not walk a batter as the Cardinals eliminated the Phillies. Carpenter is the third pitcher in postseason history to throw a shutout and allow three or fewer hits in a winner-take-all game. The Yankees' Johnny Kucks threw a three-hit shutout in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series in Brooklyn; and the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax also threw a three-hit shutout in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series in Minnesota. But, both Kucks (three) and Koufax (three) walked batters in their gems. Based on this information, you can make a case that this was the greatest pitching performance in a do-or-die game in baseball history. Jack Morris might object since he threw a 10-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Braves. Morris allowed seven hits and walked two in that game.
CY VS. CY DOESN'T DISAPPOINT
From Elias: Roy Halladay allowed only one run in eight innings pitched. Carpenter and Halladay are the third pair of pitchers to throw at least eight innings and allow no more than one run in the same winner-take-all game. Montreal's Ray Burris and Los Angeles' Fernando Valenzuela hooked up in Game 5 of the NLCS; and St. Louis' Matt Morris and Arizona's Curt Schilling dueled in Game 5 of the 2001 NLDS.
TONY PLUSH SENDS D-BACKS HOME
From Elias: Nyjer Morgan's tenth-inning single put the Brewers in the NLCS and sent the Diamondbacks home for the season. It was the 13th walk-off win in a winner-take-all game in postseason history and the first since Aaron Boone hit an eleventh-inning home run off Tim Wakefield to end the 2003 ALCS. The Diamondbacks have now been involved in three such games in their brief history. The two others were Game 5 the 2001 NLDS against the Cardinals (Tony Womack ninth-inning single; and Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Yankees (Luis Gonzalez ninth-inning single).
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
From Elias: The Brewers-Diamondbacks series was the ninth in major-league history in which the home team won every game. The Brewers have participated in two of those series; the other was their only other postseason series win: the 1982 ALCS against the Angels.
PHILLIES GO THE DISTANCE
From Elias: Before Friday night, the Phillies had not played a winner-take-all game of a postseason series since losing Game 5 of the 1981 N.L. Eastern Division playoffs to the Expos. Philadelphia's 13 consecutive series without going the distance was the longest such streak in major league history. Oakland went 12 consecutive series without playing a decisive game from 1974 to 1992 and two teams had 11-series streaks of that type: Atlanta (1996-2001) and the White Sox (1906-2008).
HALLADAY AND CARPENTER FOES FOR A NIGHT
From Elias: Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter were teammates with the Blue Jays from 1998 through 2002. Friday night's game was the second in postseason history in which former teammates opposed each other in a decisive game. The other occurrence was in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS between the Cardinals (Jeff Suppan) and the Astros (Roger Clemens). Suppan and Clemens were Red Sox teammates in 1995 and 1996. Suppan (W, 6 IP, 2 R 1 ER) outpitched Clemens (L, 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER) in that game sending the Cardinals to the World Series against the Red Sox.
TWO BIG GAMES ON ONE DAY
From Elias: Friday was only the third day in major league history on which there was more than one winner-take-all postseason game. There were three such games on October 11, 1981, each in Game 5 of a Division Series: the Dodgers defeated the Astros, the Expos beat the Phillies and the Yankees topped the Brewers; and there were two ALDS Game Fives on October 15, 2001: the Yankees won against the Athletics and the Mariners prevailed over the Indians.
MLB DRAMA TO THE VERY END
From Elias: All three winner-take-all games in this year's Division Series were decided by a single run. That matches the total of all winner-take-all games decided by the minimum margin over the previous nine postseasons (2002 to 2010), covering 15 such games.
VANEK AND POMINVILLE ARE BUFFALO SOLDIERS
From Elias: Thomas Vanek (two goals, one assist) and Jason Pominville (one goal, two assists) each scored three points to help the Sabres open the season with a 4-1 win over the Ducks in Helsinki on Friday. They were the first Buffalo players to record three points in the team's first game of a season since Oct. 5, 2005, when Danny Briere tallied two goals and one assist in a Buffalo victory at home against the Islanders. The last time the Sabres had two or more players record at least three points in a season opener was in 1992 when Dave Andreychuk (three assists), Pat LaFontaine (1-3-4) and Alexander Mogilny (three goals) all did it.
JOHNSON COMES UP LARGE
From Elias: Jack Johnson's overtime goal earned the Kings a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday. It was the 23rd regular-season goal of Johnson's six-year NHL career but his first game-winning goal in regular-season play. Johnson's only playoff goal in the NHL was the winner in Game 2 of the Kings' 2011 first-round series against the Sharks.
EMMERTON EARNS HIS WINGS
From Elias: Cory Emmerton, playing in only his third NHL game, earned first-star honors with a goal and an assist for the Red Wings as they began the season with a 5-3 win over the Senators. Emmerton was the first Red Wings rookie to score at least two points in the team's season opener since Oct. 10, 1985, when Adam Oates (one goal, one assist) and Chris Cichocki (two goals) both did so in a 6-6 opening-night tie against the North Stars at Joe Louis Arena.
HE SHOOTS A LOT, HE SCORES ONCE
From Elias: Ryan Callahan registered 11 shots on goal in the Rangers' season-opening overtime 3-2 loss to the Kings in Stockholm, Sweden. Callahan, who scored New York's first goal, was the first NHL player to reach double-figures in shots on goal in his team's season opener since Oct. 3, 1997, when Pavel Bure put 11 shots on target for the Canucks in a game against Anaheim in Tokyo, Japan. That was the first NHL regular-season game ever played outside North America.
From Elias: Martin St Louis and Vincent Lecavalier each scored a goal for the Lighting as they began the season with a 5-1 win over the Hurricanes in Raleigh. St. Louis' 35 goals versus the Canes make him the leading goal-scorer against them since the franchise moved to North Carolina from Hartford in 1997, and Lecavalier's 31 goals against Carolina rank him third on that list, behind St. Louis and Ilya Kovalchuk (32 goals).
LEHTONEN CARRIES THE LOAD
From Elias: Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves in his season-opening 2-1 win over the Blackhawks and the goal he allowed came with 14 seconds left in the game. Lehtonen has won all four games he's played against Chicago in calendar year 2011, stopping of 118 of 124 shots.