2011 NLDS: Phillies-Cardinals Game 1

Game 1 started off shaky, but Ryan Howard's three-run homer gave the Phils the momentum they needed to cruise to an 11-6 win.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies warms up prior to an at-bat during Game One of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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With the playoffs underway the Phillies Ryan Howard-wood returns to the national spotlight.
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The place that Howards calls home of course is Citizens Bank Park -- the setting for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals.
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The NLDS opened Saturday with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect.
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The Phillies sent their ace to the hill as Roy Halladay started the series. He was shaky at the start needing 20 pitches in the first inning.
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St Louis' Rafael Furcal led off with a single and promptly stole second.
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Then after Albert Pujols walked Lance Berkman blasted the Cards to a 3-0 lead.
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It was Berkman's eighth career postseason homer -- his first with the Cards.
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Berkman also took Halladay yard last month. Could the Phillies ace respond?
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Righty Kyle Lohse -- a former Phillie -- opposed Halladay.
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Lohse was perfect until Chase Utley hit a one-out double in the fourth.
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Chase would eventually score on Shane Victorino's single to make it 3-1 Cards.
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That got Phillies fans going but they would really get going in the sixth...
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That's when Howard did what he does crushing the ball to right...
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423 feet later Howard had the Phillies ahead 4-3....
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That's plenty of reason to celebrate. But the Phillies weren't done.
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Lohse and catcher Yadier Molina couldn't figure out how to stop the Phillies once they started scoring big.
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Raul Ibanez kept it going with a two-run homer of his own to put the Phightins up 6-3.
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It was Ibanez's third postseason homer with the Phils... And the old veteran showed he can still jump for joy.
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And Raul's big blast sent Lohse to the showers having allowed six runs (five earned) in 5-1/3 innings.
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In the meant time, Halladay and Ruiz figured out the Cards as doc was perfect from the middle of the second through the eighth. He even got Berkman to strikeout -- one of Doc's eight Ks on the day.
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Halladay was helped by the normally reliable Phillies defense.
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Cardinals star Albert Pujols probably didn't want to watch how much worse it would get for his team.
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Cardinals manager Tony La Russa sent Marc Rzepczynski to the mound in the seventh but the lefty failed to record an out while facing three batters.
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After Halladay singled, Jimmy Rollins singled himself. He would come around to score one of his three runs on the night and as Phillies fans know, when J-Roll scores the Phillies normally win.
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Utley also scored three runs on the night including just beating the throw in the seventh.
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Late in the game the Cards managed three runs off Phils rookie Michael Stutes despite the best efforts of John Mayberry Jr. on this hit.
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Manuel eventually called on the pen one more time.
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Enter closer Ryan Madson.
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Madson got two strike outs to make quick work of the Cards. Pinch-hitter Matt Holliday fanned to end the game.
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Mad Dog doesn't get the save put he does get...
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... a handshake from Chooch.
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As Halladay earns his thirds postseason win for the Phils. The Phightins look to make it 2-0 in then NLDs on Sunday night as they send Cliff Lee to the mound.
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