SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Chris Carpenter walked off the mound, and the fans cheered him once again.
Giants fans, that is.
The orange towel-twirling crowd at AT&T Park saw San Francisco send the St. Louis star to an early exit in a 6-1 win Sunday night that forced the NL championship series to a decisive Game 7.
"The bottom line is," Carpenter said, "I'm not giving my team a chance to win."
The Cardinals' longtime postseason ace came back from a complicated operation that removed a rib and two neck muscles just to get on the mound again this October for the reigning World Series champions. All of that success, though, has evaporated in his last two starts in San Francisco.
Carpenter allowed five runs in four shaky innings - identical to his loss earlier in Game 2. Not what the Cardinals had come to expect from him in the postseason, a resume that includes a Game 7 win in last year's World Series.
And so the wild-card Cardinals were pushed to the brink of elimination once more. Th...