“An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.” This is exactly what Giants SP Vogelson and team has been for the Cardinals ~ not only in Game 2, but in Game 6 last night. The Giants handled the defending champions well taking the win, 6-1 and tied the series, 3-3. This was the second match-up for Cardinals SP C Carpenter and Giants SP Vogelson.
Ryan Vogelson went seven innings and had a career record nine strike-outs. Only allowing 4 hits, and one walk for a 1.29. A glimmer of hope for the Cardinals in the sixth. Beltran connected for a double, followed by Craig with a single bringing in Beltran for the Cardinal’s to put a run on the board. Their hope was soon deflated, and that was the only run the Cardinals would see for the night.
The Giants took advantage of Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter. Carpenter had returned to the line-up late in the regular season to replace the injured Jake Westbrook. He was coming back from Tommy John surgery, had only pitched three games, 0-2/3.71 ERA in 17 innings pitched. For this series, he is 0-2 and, once again, had problems right out of the gate. Unfortunately, he did not settle in until the third. However, the damage of the Giants offense within the first two innings let their presence be known, with one run in the first and adding four more in the second. Carpenter allowed the Giants six hits, five runs, two walks and the high note for Carpenter ~ did come out with six strike-outs before being retired after the fourth. He was not able to lead his team to the promise land.
The Cardinals looked tired, sluggish, and almost a defeatist attitude as they approached the plate. LF Matt Holliday had been held out of the game due to lower back stiffness and replaced with Matt Carpenter in the line-up. 1B Craig was moved into LF, and M Carpenter to cover 1B. With ineffective pitching and having players in positions unfamiliar, also, added to the Cardinals frustration. They did get five hits from M Carpenter, Beltran, Craig, Descalso and Kozma but were unable to ignite anything beyond their one run.
The Giants proved, in front of their home crowd, they were just as much a “comeback” team as the Cardinals have been. Even though, we are not finished yet with series tied, 3-3, Game 7 ~ “winner take all” ~ is tonight.
There is rain in the forecast for the Bay Area today, so that could pose a possible postponement of the game. However, it looks like the rain will settle in through tomorrow, also. So that will remain to be seen. Should the game be postponed and re-scheduled for Tuesday ~ that brings both teams right up to opening day for the World Series. Granted, the Giants are at home, so no travel involved should they win. However, should the Cardinals be victorious, travel back to St. Louis to play Wednesday. Either or ~ the Giants or the Cardinals ~ will face the well rested Detroit Tigers who took the ALCS pennant, in four games against the Yankees, adding three extra days rest, just waiting to see who their opponent will be.
For Game 7, it will be Cardinals Kyle Lohse, 16-3/2.86 against Giants Matt Cain, 16-5/2.79. In regular season, Cain had only pitched once against the Cardinals on May 17, which the Giants won 7-5. Lohse had never faced the Giants until postseason. This is a rematch for the pitchers as they faced one another in Game 3, Oct 17 in St. Louis, Cardinals winning, 3-1. Lohse took the win, 1-0/1.59 against Cain, 0-1/4.05. Out of all the SP’s for the Cardinals, I would say Lohse is their bullet currently.
It has been reported that Wainwright may be part of the Cardinals relief pitching for tonight’s game. Tim Lincecum has been added to the bullpen for the Giants. Should that scenario become reality for the Cardinals, in the event Lohse can sustain the Giants through six or seven innings, with Wainwright in the bullpen, along with CP Jason Motte ~ could prove quite the combination. However, the Cardinals offense has got to come alive ~ as we know they are capable of at the plate. ~ Because !! The Giants are 5-1 when scoring first in postseason play.
Another consideration for the Cardinals manager Matheny, should Jon Jay remain in the lead-off position. Jay has been at bat 25 times, only 5 hits with 1 double, 3 RBI’s and only at .200 for the NLCS. Would Craig or Beltran, at this juncture, be better suited. Jay is an excellent player for the Cardinals and had done well during regular season ~ just has not been able to “connect” at the plate to get things going for his team during this series. I have no idea if Matheny will give thought to this consideration for tonight’s game. Just seems Jay, at the moment, may be better suited a bit down the line.
“While the Giants have won five straight games facing elimination this postseason, the Cardinals have won their last six dating to last year. This is the first time the NLCS has gone seven games since 2006, when St. Louis beat the New York Mets 3-1 at Shea Stadium. Carlos Beltran, now with the Cardinals, struck out looking when Adam Wainwright froze him on a curveball.”
Last night’s game, both offensively and defensively, the Cardinals certainly didn’t display too much enthusiasm. As for the Giants ~ “they were comfortable in their own skin” ~
So to Game 7 ~ “winner take all” ~ “one and done”. Do the Cardinals have the gumption not to be denied yet another victory. I don’t believe the Giants will be very accommodating with the efforts they have shown.
Even so, I still believe in #12-n-12 ~ who is waiting in the wings to return to help his team.
To all ~ enjoy your games. The Chicago Bears (4-1) host the Detroit Lions (2-3) in tonight’s MNF. First time the Lions have played at Soldier Field on a Monday night in six meetings of the two teams. Another exciting night in sports.
Have a great day! Always ~ Elichap