With no outs in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Carpenter hit for himself. He made contact! Big cheers for small victories.
In the top of the seventh, David Murphy led off with an automatic double down the right-field line. And that was it for Carpenter, who was apparently on the silly one-runner-and-gone leash. The Cardinals have a three-run lead, but they probably shouldn't cocky enough to give away outs like that.
But after Carpenter left, Tony La Russa could start up the wheel of bullpen, with Arthur Rhodes and Octavio Dotel combining to shut down the threat. And if the Rangers can't score any runs off the Cardinals bullpen, it probably wouldn't matter if Carpenter took the rest of the at-bats in the game.
The Cardinals, who were 10½ out of a playoff spot in late August, who were down to their last strike of the season on two separate occasions, are just six outs away from one of the more improbable World Series championships in baseball history.