ACKERMAN: Shildt says Chris Carpenter told a coach, 'Dude. Calm down.' in 2011 NLDS

"Dude, calm down, I got this," the Cardinals pitcher said to a nervously pacing coach before he won Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS.

Tom Ackerman
April 13, 2020 - 1:53 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - This is part of the reason why Mike Shildt wanted to begin hosting his radio show, even if baseball wasn't being played due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Baseball, he said, could still play a role in providing a distraction for people, letting them forget about some of the news out there.

"Sunday mornings with @KMOXSports - one of the few times during the week things feel normal," said listener @joesiebelts this past weekend on Twitter.

And when the Cardinals manager tells a story from one of Chris Carpenter's legendary postseason performances? Get your popcorn.

How about stories from two legendary performances?

"Cheers," said @joesiebelts.

Shildt recalled Game 5 of the NLDS against the NL East champion Phillies, widely regarded as not only Carpenter's best game – but one of the best pitching performances in Cardinals history.

Late in the game, with the Redbirds leading 1-0, Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa let Carpenter hit for himself to lead off the eighth inning.

Carpenter, as he was grabbing his bat and helmet, noticed one of the (unnamed) Cardinals coaches pacing in the dugout. Carpenter turned in that coach's direction, Shildt said.

"Dude," Carpenter told the coach, "Calm down. We got this. I got this."

Carpenter singled up the middle. He didn't come around to score, as it turns out. He ended up stranded at third.

No worries. One of the best big-game pitchers in team history worked through a dropped third strike to work over a fourth straight batter in the bottom of the eighth. And in the ninth, he famously retired the Phillies in order. The Cardinals won 1-0, taking the series in five games and advancing to the NLCS.

Previously in that series, Carpenter pitched on three days rest ... only making it through three innings and allowing four runs in a Game 2 loss.

So what do the Cardinals do when they need a start for Game 7 of the World Series that year? La Russa summoned Carpenter – on three days rest – who immediately allowed two early runs to the Rangers at Busch Stadium.

"You gave up a two-spot in the top (of the first inning) in Game 7," Shildt remembers discussing with Carpenter after the season.

Related: LISTEN: Shildt – on honeymoon – begins his Sunday show on KMOX

"I just told myself: 'That's it,'" Shildt says Carpenter told him. "They're not scoring anymore."

Final score? Cardinals 6, Rangers 2. The Cards won their 11th world championship.

For these stories and more, click on the short interview segment above. The Mike Shildt Show airs every Sunday at 10:15 AM on KMOX.

Monday on KMOX, we'll continue our classic 2011 games with Carpenter's brilliant performance on September 18, 2011 -- at Philadelphia. The Cardinals beat the Phillies, 5-0. Carpenter went eight scoreless innings to outduel Cole Hamels and the Phillies... a prelude of things to come.

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