As baseball goes and especially for the Cardinals ~ as hot as they were Sunday night, stone cold in last night’s game. And the Giants ~ take the win, 7-1, to tie the series.
In the top of the first ~ it was Cardinals Matt Holliday that really got the Giants and fans all fired up. Just the spark they needed to forge forward. In an attempt to break-up a double play off a hit by Craig, Holliday slid into second. However, his slide was over the bag and right into Giants 2B Scutaro, who was downed sustaining injury to his upper left leg. Holliday was watching over his shoulder at first base when he began his slide not hitting the dirt before the bag, causing a collision that many wanted called as illegal….but wasn’t. This started the fire for San Francisco. And, Scutaro would prove to be an important factor later in the game for the Giants.
For Cardinals SP Carpenter, the bottom of the first told the story for the rest of the night for his stint on the mound. Giants Angel Pagan, lead-off hitter, no outs on a 1-2 count, hits one out of the park over right field. That got the crowd into it early. Carpenter was having a tough time finding his comfort zone that would cause havoc for the Giants batters. Just was not there last night for short innings. But before damage was done for Carpenter, the Giants take their first postseason lead at home which helped to break a three game losing streak on home turf.
Carpenter was retired after the fourth. He allowed six hits for five runs, gave up two walks and only one strike out for a 4.50/ERA. Carpenter’s performance fell short of what he wanted to accomplish ~ just as much as Wainwright’s the night before. Both Cardinal pitchers are contenders, team players ~ satisfaction in only going short innings is just is not acceptable to them. Even though, they both will re-group, work harder to be a help to their team in the near future.
The Cardinals pitching has been on a “wing and prayer” all season with injuries of one pitcher, or another. A bullpen that has been lacking at times. But, they have come this far….their season is not finished yet.
It was Giants SP Vogelsong who had a great night, comfortable and unrelenting on the mound. He went for seven very strong innings only allowing four hits. Chris Carpenter, for a moment, worked the bat against his adversary. He hit a double off Vogelsong for a single RBI in the second for the Cardinals to see their only run and tie in the game. Vogelsong gave up two walks and had four strike outs for an 1.29/ERA. He held the Cardinals in check to be the first of the Giants’ starters to make it through six innings this postseason. “This was his first career postseason win.”
In both Sunday’s game and last night, the fourth seems to the magic inning when runs add up on the board. As the Cardinals had done on Sunday, it was no different for the Giants in last nights match-up. And, Cardinals Chris Carpenter felt the pangs of seeing the game slip away from him.
Giants Crawford was safe at first on an error by Carpenter with an RBI. Scutaro, who was injured in the first, came to the plate for a single for a two run RBI. Pagan scored on an error by Holliday. Now the Giants held the lead, 5 -1, which the Cardinals were not able to overcome. In the eighth ~ former Cardinal Theriot hit a single off Cardinal RP Miller for a two run RBI which pretty much “sealed the deal” for the Giants.
Giants Marco Scutaro left the dugout in the fifth, x-rays proved negative to any major injury…but he will likely have a very healthy “contusion” to contend with. However, happy that’s all he sustained. Baseball can be hard hitting ~ that’s part of the sport. We don’t see as much of that today as we have in years/seasons of old. Even though … Scutaro proved to be an intricate part of the Giants victory before leaving the game.
The two teams travel to St Louis’ Busch Stadium where the Cardinals will host the Giants. Tied in the series ~ which we have seen the Cardinals in this position before. But the Giants were given an edge with their recent victory. So the “teeter-totter” days for the Cardinals have to be discarded if they want to seriously stay in this race.
The Tigers and the Yankees will resume their series today, now in Detroit. Without Derek Jeters, will the Yankees be able to overcome the Tiger’s who hold a 2-0 edge for the ALCS. For today’s game it will be Yankees SP Phil Hughes against the very strong Tigers SP Justin Verlander. I would say Hughes is going to have to give the performance of his season/postseason for the Yankees to have a chance in this race.
To all ~ have a great day. Those Bronco fans out there … continue to enjoy their comeback win over the Chargers! Now that was Sweet!! Yes … not so much a Bronco’s fan, as I am a Peyton Manning fan!! “)
Always ~ Elichap