2005 National League Championship Series

2005 National League Championship Series

Infobox LCS

year = 2005
champion = Houston Astros (4)
champion_manager = Phil Garner
champion_games = 89-73, .549, GB: 11
runnerup = St. Louis Cardinals (2)
runnerup_manager = Tony La Russa
runnerup_games = 100-62, .617, GA: 11
date = October 12October 19
MVP = Roy Oswalt (Houston)
television = FOX
announcers = Thom Brennaman, Steve Lyons, and Bob Brenly
radio_network = ESPN Radio
umpires = Tim McClelland, Greg Gibson, Wally Bell, Phil Cuzzi, Larry Poncino, Gerry Davis
LDS1 = St. Louis Cardinals over San Diego Padres (3-0)
LDS2 = Houston Astros over Atlanta Braves (3-1)
The by|2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2005 National League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue of having the best record in the NL during the 2005 season, had the home field advantage. The Astros won the series 4 games to 2, and became the National League champions; they faced the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series.

The Cardinals and Astros were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Cardinals defeating the Western Division champion San Diego Padres 3 games to 0, and the Astros defeating the Eastern Division champion Atlanta Braves 3 games to 1. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who won AL pennants with the Oakland Athletics in by|1988-89-90 and the NL flag in 2004, fell short in his bid to become the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both major leagues. The NLCS also closed with the last game ever played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium II, which the Cardinals departed after 40 seasons.


Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Houston wins the series, 4-2

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, MissouriLinescore
Home=St. Louis|HomeAbr=STL
WP=Chris Carpenter (1-0)|LP=Andy Pettitte (0-1)|SV=Jason Isringhausen (1)
RoadHR=Chris Burke (1)|HomeHR=Reggie Sanders (1)|

In the series opener, the Cardinals won 5-3 behind a strong pitching performance by Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter and a 2-run home run by Reggie Sanders in the first inning. Houston starter Andy Pettitte was struck by a batted ball during batting practice but made the start as scheduled.

Game 2

Thursday, October 13, 2005 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, MissouriLinescore
Home=St. Louis|HomeAbr=STL
WP=Roy Oswalt (1-0)|LP=Mark Mulder (0-1)|SV=Brad Lidge (1)
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Albert Pujols (1)|

Roy Oswalt provided the lift the Astros needed, scattering five hits over seven innings. The Cardinal bullpen continued its playoff struggles, giving up two runs in the eighth. Brad Lidge continued his dominance over the Cardinals, pitching the final two innings for the save.

Game 3

Saturday, October 15, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TexasLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Roger Clemens (1-0)|LP=Matt Morris (0-1)|SV=Brad Lidge (2)
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Mike Lamb (1)|

Roger Clemens pitched a solid six innings, Chad Qualls pitched two hitless innings, and Brad Lidge gave up the first run he has allowed against the Cardinals since May 29, 2003, but held on for the save to give the Astros a 2-1 series lead. It was Clemens' 12th postseason career postseason win, and his 5th in League Championship Series games.

Game 4

Sunday, October 16, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TexasLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Chad Qualls (1-0)|LP=Jason Marquis (0-1)|SV=Brad Lidge (3)
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Jason Lane (1)|

Brandon Backe provided a strong outing, and the Astro bullpen continued its strong performance. Tony La Russa and Jim Edmonds were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes on separate instances -- LaRussa in the bottom of the 7th, Edmonds in the top of the 8th, at a key moment. Edmonds's ejection came with a 3-2 count, two outs, and a runner on base. Edmonds was replaced by pinch hitter John Rodríguez, who flied out to deep center field end the scoring threat. The Cardinals once again had an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the ninth inning against closer Brad Lidge. Albert Pujols and Larry Walker led off the inning with back-to-back singles, putting runners at first and third base with no outs. Reggie Sanders grounded to third; Pujols went home on contact and was thrown out at the plate. Larry Walker advanced to third when the Astros failed to call timeout after the play at the plate. John Mabry ended the threat by grounding into a double play. La Russa's ejection marked the first time a manager was ejected from a postseason game since 1998, when Mike Hargrove was thrown out of a game between his Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. Houston was one game away from the franchise's first visit to the World Series after a 2-1 Game 4 win.

Game 5

Monday, October 17, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TexasLinescore
Road=St. Louis|RoadAbr=STL
WP=Jason Isringhausen (1-0)|LP=Brad Lidge (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Albert Pujols (2)|HomeHR=Lance Berkman (1)|

Lance Berkman erased a 1-2 Astros deficit and gave excited Astros fans a 4-2 lead with one swing on a pitch from Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Astros were one strike away from claiming their first NL Pennant and trip to the Fall Classic before David Eckstein singled with no one on base, Jim Edmonds walked, and Albert Pujols hit a dramatic, towering three-run home run off Astros closer Brad Lidge that bounced off the side of the closed Minute Maid Park roof before landing on the railroad tracks in left field. The home run gave the Cardinals a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth inning and, eventually, a 5-4 win. The Cardinals guaranteed that another game would be played at historic Busch Stadium. The win also broke the Cardinals' seven game losing streak in road NLCS games. The game was eerily reminiscent of Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS between the California Angels and the Boston Red Sox. The Angels were one strike away from going to the franchise's first trip to the World Series in front of their home crowd when Dave Henderson hit a 2-run home run off Angel closer Donnie Moore in a game the Red Sox went on to win in extra innings. The Red Sox won the final two games of the series in Boston to complete the comeback from a 3 games to 1 deficit. The Astros' lead was trimmed to 3 games to 2 in the series. The game was also the Astros 45th birthday, But it would turn out not to be a happy one.

Game 6

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, MissouriLinescore
Home=St. Louis|HomeAbr=STL
WP=Roy Oswalt (2-0)|LP=Mark Mulder (0-2)|SV=
RoadHR=Jason Lane (2)|HomeHR=|

The Astros shook off the effects of their Game 5 loss, and rolled to win their first National League pennant in forty-four seasons of existence with a decisive 5-1 win over the Cardinals. Roy Oswalt pitched seven strong innings and Jason Lane contributed with a home run as the visiting Houston Astros defeated St. Louis which would become the final game at Busch Stadium II.

Composite Box

2005 NLCS (4-2): Houston Astros over St. Louis CardinalsLinescore
Road=Houston Astros
Home=St. Louis Cardinals
H1=2|H2=1|H3=2|H4=1|H5=4|H6=2|H7=0|H8=0|H9=4|HR=16|HH=39|HE=5Total Attendance: 286,431 Average Attendance: 47,739|

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt was named the series MVP. In two starts, he went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings.

Quotes of the Series

"In the air left field it might be.....it is gone!" Thom Brennaman of FOX Sports calls Berkman's Game 5 3-run home run"

"0-1 to Pujols...IN THE AIR LEFT FIELD AND PUJOLS HAS GIVEN ST. LOUIS THE LEAD! A dramatic, towering, three-run home run! Stunned in disbelief here in Houston! A single by Eckstein, a walk to Edmonds, and how ABOUT Albert Pujols!" Thom Brennaman of FOX Sports calls Albert Pujols' Game 5 game-winning home run in the Top of the 9th inning with two outs

"Swing and a long one! THERE IT IS, BABY! The Cardinals take the lead as Albert Pujols comes through in the pinch! And the Redbirds lead this baby 5 to 4! What did I tell you folks? David Eckstein--the man. This may be a crushing blow, a CRUSHING blow to the Houston club." Mike Shannon calling Pujols' home run

"Fly ball, its a long home run, it's clear up on the railroad tracks...and the air just went out of the balloon here."- Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton calls Pujols' home run

"Double Play depth at short and second the pitch, HIT IN THE AIR DEEP TO LEFT.....WE'LL WATCH IT AT THE WALL....IT IS GONE!!!! LANCE BERKMAN...3-RUN JACK!! OPPOSITE FIELD! AND THE ASTROS PUT 3 ON THE BOARD WITH ONE VERY BIG SWING! THE ASTROS LEAD 4-2" Alan Ashby of 740 AM KTRH calls Berkman's Game 5 3-run home run

"Fly ball in to right field...and for the first time in Houston Astros franchise history, they will play in the World Series."-Brennaman calling the last out of Game 6 when Yadier Molina flied out to Astros right fielder, Jason Lane.

"Ground ball to second...they won't be able to get two or are they and THEY DID! OH MAN! WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE PLAY BY BRUNTLETT AND EVERETT! THE ASTROS LEAD THIS SERIES THREE GAMES TO ONE!"- Thom Brennaman on the Astros turning the Game 4-ending double play

"And the 0-2, Bouncceerr get one, can you get twoooooo? YES!!" "THEY DID IT!!" "YEA!!!" "4-6-3" "UNBELIEVABLE AND HOW CLOSE WAS IT AT FIRST BASE?!?!?!" "BANG BANG AT FIRST BUT IT WAS CLEARLY AN OUT AND THE ASTROS GO UP 3 TO 1. SLOWLY HIT GROUNDER, A BORDER LINE SHOT AND THEY TURN IT PERFECTLY!!!!"- Milo Hamilton and Alan Ashby calling the Game 4 ending double play


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