Chris Carpenter walked off the mound, and the fans cheered. 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 Game 7.
Carpenter allowed five runs in four shaky innings - identical to his loss earlier in this matchup. 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. They're plenty familiar with that situation.
Carpenter and St. Louis won the decisive Game 5 of the division series at Philadelphia last season, then the Cardinals overcame a 3-2 deficit in the World Series to beat Texas. They won the winner-take-all wild-card game at Atlanta this month and rallied in the ninth at Washington in Game 5 of the division series.
Now they must do it again.
Giants ace Matt Cain ...