The Cardinals forced a decisive Game 5 on Friday night by earning their 100th postseason victory in franchise history in Wednesday's Game 4 of the National League Division Series. With their 5-3 win over the Phillies, the Redbirds improved to 100-90 all-time in
postseason play. The Cards' 100 postseason wins and 190 games played are both second to the Yankees, who have won 220 of their 368 postseason contests.
Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson conceded two runs in the first inning before allowing just two hits while shutting out the Phils over his final five innings. In his 32 regular-season appearances, Jackson had a 6.39 first-inning ERA and just a 3.30 mark for the other eight innings combined.
Jackson also seems to work in the opposite direction of most pitchers. In the regular season, batters hit .292 when facing Jackson for the first time in a game, .291 the second time and .287 the third. In Game 4, Philadelphia was 3-for-9 the first time through the lineup, 2-for-8 the second and 0-for-4 before Jackson was removed while facing hitters for a third time.
Phils shortstop Jimmy Rollins has recorded at least two hits in each of the first four playoff games. Dating back to the regular season, he has turned in multihit performances in eight of his last nine games, hitting .488 (20-for-41).
Redbirds catcher Yadier Molina failed to record a hit in Game 4, falling one game short of tying Pat Borders for the longest postseason hitting streak by a catcher. Molina went 0-for-3 to snap his hitting streak at 12 games.
The bottom of the Cardinals' order has been vital in sending the series to a fifth game.
The Phillies are no stranger to striking first in NLDS games. Over the last three seasons, the Phils have scored in the first inning in six of their 11 first-round games. Also, in each of their last four NLDS-clinching games, they've tallied a run in the opening frame.
The bottom of the Cardinals' lineup continued to be a thorn in the Phillies' side in Game 4. Half of the Cards' 18 RBIs in the series have come out of the Nos. 7 and 8 spots in the lineup. David Freese's four RBIs gave the seven-spot seven for the series, while the No. 8 hole has also knocked in a pair.
Phils starter Roy Oswalt lost for the first time in his 11 postseason starts. Though he was tagged with a loss in the 2010 NLCS, it came in one of his two playoff relief appearances. The right-hander was 5-0 before the Game 4 loss.
Rollins led off the game with a double and Chase Utley followed with an RBI triple. Those would turn out to be the only extra-base hits for Philadelphia, as it went 5-for-30 the rest of the night with five singles.
Only one NL team has ever rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win a Division Series. Other than the 2002 Giants -- who did it against the Braves and went on to lose in the World Series -- NL teams in that situation are 0-16 all-time.
Though Game 5 is at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, that may not be as big of an advantage as it may seem. Home teams are 8-9 overall in Division Series Game 5s, including just 2-4 in the NL.
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.