Of course we remember Oct. 7, 2011. Game Five of the National League Division Series, the epic match-up of best buddies Chris Carpenter and the wild card Cardinals against Roy Halladay and the 102-win-best-record-in-MLB Phillies.
And now, with the retirement on Monday of Halladay and the official retirement of Carpenter last month, we remember it anew.
That the long-time friends were facing each other for the first time, and in such a situation, was of course much hyped, yet justifiably so. Each was a Cy Young winner, Carpenter in 2005 and Halladay twice — winning as a Blue Jay in 2003 and a Phillie in 2010, the season he threw a perfect game against the Marlins and a no-hitter against the Reds in his postseason debut. (Thank you again, baseball gods, for letting Brandon Phillips be the final batter in that one.)
Then came Game Five itself, living up to every bit of the hype. The Cardinals took charge in the first inning, with a lead-off triple from Rafael Furcal followed by a Skip Schumaker double providing the only run of the game. Halladay scattered four other hits throughout his eight total innings, striking out seven and walking one — That Guy Who Used to Play First Base — intentionally. Carpenter was even better, as we all so gladly remember: only three hits, an equal number of strikeouts, no walks, one final out primal scream and one Nick Punto shredding.