Chris Carpenter was shaky, but Yovani Gallardo was just a little shakier—and the best pitcher's duel of the 2011 NLCS turned out to be a minor dud as the St. Louis Cardinals skated past the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-3. Albert Pujols went 2-2 with his seventh double of the postseason and David Freese went 3-4 with an RBI as the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead after their first home game of the series.
Carpenter couldn't follow up his Game 5 NLDS shutout with more of the same, struggling with command and allowing a home run to little-used Mark Kotsay, but the Cardinals' revamped bullpen continued to be outstanding, throwing four perfect innings to bridge the gap from Carpenter to Jason Motte, who earned his first NLCS save—and his three strikeouts—with an even more explosive fastball than usual.
The Brewers' bullpen was just as impressive—including two strikeouts from former Cardinals farmhand Chris Narveson—but the early scoring had the Cardinals by a run, and the ninth inning looked exactly the same. The Cardinals and Brewers will meet again Thursday night at 7:05 CDT when Randy Wolf meets Kyle Lohse. Jaime Garcia and Zack Grienke will close the Busch Stadium series Friday night.