2005 National League Division Series
The 2005 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 2005 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 4, and ended on Sunday, October 9, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
- (1) St. Louis Cardinals (Central Division champions, 100–62) vs. (3) San Diego Padres (Western Division champions, 82–80): Cardinals win series, 3–0.
- (2) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champions, 90–72) vs. (4) Houston Astros (Wild Card, 89–73): Astros win series, 3–1.
The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was determined by playing record. Although the team with the best record was normally intended to play the wild card team, the Cardinals played the Padres, rather than the wild card Astros, because the Cardinals and Astros are in the same division.
The Cardinals and Astros went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Astros became the National League champion, and lost to the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres
St. Louis won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 4||San Diego Padres – 5, St. Louis Cardinals – 8||Busch Stadium (II)||2:57||52,349|
|2||October 6||San Diego Padres – 2, St. Louis Cardinals – 6||Busch Stadium (II)||2:54||52,599|
|3||October 8||St. Louis Cardinals – 7, San Diego Padres – 4||PETCO Park||3:07||45,093|
Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros
Houston won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 5||Houston Astros – 10, Atlanta Braves – 5||Turner Field||3:11||40,590|
|2||October 6||Houston Astros – 1, Atlanta Braves – 7||Turner Field||2:52||46,181|
|3||October 8||Atlanta Braves – 3, Houston Astros – 7||Minute Maid Park||2:50||43,759|
|4||October 9||Atlanta Braves – 6, Houston Astros – 7 (18 innings)||Minute Maid Park||5:50||43,413|
St. Louis vs. San Diego
Game 1, October 4
|WP: Chris Carpenter (1–0) LP: Jake Peavy (0–1)
SD: Eric Young (1)
STL: Jim Edmonds (1), Reggie Sanders (1)
It was a matchup between Jake Peavy and eventual 2005 Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter. In the bottom of the first, Jim Edmonds's one-out solo homer put the Cardinals up 1–0. Then in the bottom of the third, Peavy's control slipped away as a wild pitch and a two-run single by Reggie Sanders gave the Cards a 4–0 lead. But Sanders would provide more offense with a grand slam in the fifth. That would make the score 8–0 and give Sanders six RBIs in the game. The Padres would not go quietly though. They would scratch out a run in the seventh on a sac fly, then one more on a solo homer by Eric Young in the eighth. After the Padres put runners on the corners in the ninth, Jason Isringhausen came on to close the deal. But four consecutive hits with two outs would make the score 8–5 and would load the bases with the go-ahead run at the plate. Ramón Hernández would not deliver as he would strike out to end the game.
Game 2, October 6
|WP: Mark Mulder (1–0) LP: Pedro Astacio (0–1)|
Pedro Astacio faced Mark Mulder in Game 2. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third when an error by Khalil Greene allowed the Cardinals to plate two unearned runs, the last one a bases-loaded walk. A fielder's choice and a squeeze play by David Eckstein made it 4–0 Cardinals in the fourth. But the Padres were not done. In the top of the seventh, a double and two singles made it 4–1 and put the tying run at the plate. But a double play killed the rally and the Padres would only get one. Reggie Sanders would get two more RBIs with a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning. A bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Xavier Nady made it 6–2, but the Padres would squander the chance to tie the game. The Cards would go on to win 6–2.
Game 3, October 8
|WP: Matt Morris (1–0) LP: Woody Williams (0–1) Sv: Jason Isringhausen (1)
STL: David Eckstein (1)
SD: Dave Roberts (1), Ramón Hernández (1)
Matt Morris faced former Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams. Albert Pujols drove in David Eckstein with an RBI double in the top of the first. Then Eckstein would provide significant pop with his bat when he hit a two-run homer in the second to make it 3–0. But the Cards wouldn't stop there as Reggie Sanders would collect two more RBIs on a two-run double to make it 5–0 later in the inning. That would bring Sanders' RBI total to ten for the series. Then Yadier Molina's two-run single silenced the crowd in the top of the fifth. That made it 7–0 Cardinals. All hope seemed lost for the Padres but a one-out double in the bottom half of the fifth started a two-run rally that made it 7–2. Then Dave Roberts's solo homer in the seventh put the Padres within striking distance. Another solo home run in the eighth by Ramón Hernández made it 7–4. Jason Isringhausen would come on to slam the door on the Padres. Ryan Klesko's groundout ended the series.
|St. Louis Cardinals||2||4||5||2||6||0||2||0||0||21||29||2|
|San Diego Padres||0||0||0||0||2||0||3||3||3||11||32||2|
|Total attendance: 150,041 Average attendance: 50,014|
Atlanta vs. Houston
Game 1, October 5
|WP: Andy Pettitte (1–0) LP: Tim Hudson (0–1)
ATL: Chipper Jones (1), Andruw Jones (1)
Andy Pettitte faced Tim Hudson in Game 1. Hudson would struggle in his half of the first, giving up one run, but would get out of the inning with a crucial double play. Pettitte would allow a solo homer to Chipper Jones to tie the game but he would otherwise cruise. The game remained 1–1 until the third when a two-run single by Morgan Ensberg made it 3–1 Astros. Hudson would load the bases but survive once again. In the Braves' fourth, Andruw Jones would hit a two-run homer to make it a one-run game. A walk and a bunt single put the tying run in scoring position later in the inning but Brian Jordan would ground into a double play to end the rally. Pettitte would help his own cause in the seventh with the game still at 4–3. He would double and later score on an RBI hit by Ensberg. It was now 5–3 and Hudson was finished. In the eighth, with Chris Reitsma pitching, the Astros would open the floodgates with a five-run rally. The lack of a steady bullpen cost the Braves dearly as the score was now 10–3 and all hope of a Game 1 victory was gone. The Braves would get a run in the eighth and ninth but would lose decisively 10–5.
Game 2, October 6
|WP: John Smoltz (1–0) LP: Roger Clemens (0–1)
ATL: Brian McCann (1)
Roger Clemens faced John Smoltz in Game 2. Smoltz ran into trouble when he allowed two consecutive singles with one out. After a forceout, Jason Lane singled in Lance Berkman to make it 1–0 Astros. He would intentionally load the bases but get out of the inning with no more damage done. Then the Braves struck back against Clemens. With two outs and two men on, Brian McCann came up in his first ever postseason at-bat. He then slammed a three-run homer to right field. He became the first Brave ever to homer in his first postseason at-bat. That sparked the Braves as they would go on to score two more in the third on a two-run double by Adam LaRoche. Smoltz pitched masterfully and the Braves would add two more for insurance in the seventh. The Braves' victory in Game 2 was their last postseason win until 2010.
Game 3, October 8
|WP: Roy Oswalt (1–0) LP: Jorge Sosa (0–1)
HOU: Mike Lamb (1)
Jorge Sosa faced Roy Oswalt in Game 3. Sosa would fall behind early when a double and a sac fly gave the Astros two runs in the first. But the Braves would tie the game in the next inning with back-to-back two out RBI singles by Brian McCann and Sosa. But Mike Lamb would hit the go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the third. The two pitchers would duel until the bottom of the seventh when Chris Reitsma once again came into a close game. But Reitsma would allow two straight hits and the Braves' bullpen could do little to stop the Astros' rally. They would strike for four runs and Reitsma once again put a close game out of reach. The Braves would scratch out a run in the eighth thanks to an RBI double by Andruw Jones but they would get no more. The Astros would go on to win Game 3, 7–3.
Game 4, October 9
|WP: Roger Clemens (1–1) LP: Joey Devine (0–1)
ATL: Adam LaRoche (1), Brian McCann (2)
HOU: Lance Berkman (1), Brad Ausmus (1), Chris Burke (1)
The final game of the series lasted eighteen innings and set records as the longest game in the history of Major League Baseball's postseason, both in terms of time and number of innings. Although the Braves started out with an early lead and were even ahead 6–1 in the eighth, a grand slam by Lance Berkman in the eighth off Kyle Farnsworth and a solo home run by Brad Ausmus in the ninth (with the Astros down to their last out) sent the game to extra innings. The second half of the game included three innings of relief by Roger Clemens, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the fifteenth inning and pitching in relief for only the second time in his career (and appearing this time only because the Astros were out of pitchers). Chris Burke hit the game-ending home run in the bottom of the eighteenth off Atlanta rookie Joey Devine, giving Houston the series victory and sending them to the NLCS to face the St. Louis Cardinals.
In addition to being the longest postseason game in MLB history, it was also the only postseason game to include two grand slams, Lance Berkman's and Adam LaRoche's. Some commentators have pointed to this game as the greatest game in Houston Astros history, and one of the best games in the history of MLB playoffs.
Even more remarkable than the game's length, perhaps, is the fact that the fan who caught Chris Burke's walk-off homer in the eighteenth was, in fact, the same fan who had caught Lance Berkman's grand slam in the eighth (Section 102, Row 2, Seat 15); the fan later donated both balls to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
|Total attendance: 173,943 Average attendance: 43,486|
Swing and a drive to left field... way back... this one is GOOOONE!... The Astros win it... It's Chris Burke with a late-inning walk-off home run to give Roger Clemens the win and send the Astros to their second straight NLCS in eighteen innings.. Houston pulls it out to go back to the League Championship for the second straight year!
And the pitch. Swinging...lining it to left and IT'S GOOONNNEE, IT'S GOOONNNEE, IT'S GOOONNNEE!!! CHRIS BURKE!!! HOLY TOLEDO, WHAT A WAY TO FINISH!
- "2005 NLDS - San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- "2005 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- 2005 Houston Astros Playoff Stats
- The Baseball Analysts: The Greatest Game Ever Played
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Baseball Perspectives