The Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Ryan Howard two-run first-inning single. Howard had 31 first-inning RBIs in the regular season, second in the Majors only to the Dodgers' Matt Kemp (36). The second-highest total on the Phils was 12 by Raul Ibanez, who also delivered a run-scoring single two batters after Howard.
Jimmy Rollins, who hadn't doubled since Aug. 19, hit doubles in his first two at-bats of Game 2. He had only one multi-double game all season -- coming on April 9. Including Game 1, Rollins had doubled just two times in his last 114 at-bats entering Sunday's contest.
Jon Jay had recorded just two multi-RBI performances over his last 80 games entering play Sunday. In Game 2, the center fielder singled home a run in the fourth to cut Philadelphia's lead to 4-2 before knotting the game at 4 with another run-scoring single two innings later.
CARDS COME THROUGH IN CLUTCH
|Inning||Hits/At-Bats w/ RISP||RBI w/ RISP|
Seven pitchers on the Cardinals' roster had a higher average with runners in scoring position during the regular season than Rafael Furcal. Furcal's .140 (6-for-43) batting average in those situations was the lowest on the team among players with at least five at-bats, but his two-out single with runners on second and third in the fourth inning Sunday cut the Phillies' lead to one.
The Cards hit a Major League-best .290 with runners in scoring position during the regular season, but went 0-for-6 in the opening two innings to fall behind 4-0 in Game 2. However, over the final seven innings, they went 6-for-12 and pushed across all five of their runs in those situations.
Prior to Game 2, Chris Carpenter had pitched to at least one batter in the fourth inning in all but four of his 337 career starts. Two of those four games he exited prior to the fourth because of an injury, and the other two came in 2002 with the Blue Jays in the first two starts of his career.
Even with Carpenter's short outing, St. Louis' rally kept Carpenter undefeated in his five career starts at Citizens Bank Park. Carpenter received a no-decision in the Cards' victory to remain 4-0 in Philadelphia despite a 5.33 ERA.
The Cardinals tagged starter Cliff Lee for 12 hits over seven-plus innings, matching the most ever given up by the left-hander. Lee also gave up 12 hits over seven innings in a May 3, 2009, loss to the Tigers, when he was still with the Indians.
The bottom of St. Louis' order defied the odds by playing a vital role its comeback against Lee. Though the bottom three batters in the Cardinals' order hit just .252 in the regular season, they went 5-for-10 with three RBIs against the Phillies. All 10 of the at-bats came against Lee, who held opposing teams' No. 7-9 hitters to a .179 average during the regular season.
St. Louis has won six of its last seven one-run games dating back to the regular season, while Philadelphia has lost four of its last five. The Cardinals have won all three of the 2011 meetings that were decided by a single run.
The Phillies have been in this situation before. In the 2009 NLDS, they won Game 1 at home before dropping the second to the Rockies. Philadelphia bounced back and won both games in Colorado to win the series. The Phils then beat the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, lost in Game 2 to even the series, then rattled off three straight to advance to the World Series. There, they again won Game 1 and lost Game 2, before eventually losing the series in six games.
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.