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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back to STL, Series Even

Although the Giants didn't leave town with a 2-0 lead like we were all hoping for, you have to like what you saw out of the team in the second half of game one, and game two of the NLCS.

First of all, we didn't do a recap post after game one, and I wanted to touch on a few things there before I get to the Scutaro injury and what happens going forward. Yes, the Giants won the NLDS, and yes, they responded beautifully in game two after a slow start in game one, but their starting pitching has me a bit worried. Before Vogelsong's valiant effort in Monday night's game, Giants starters have been averaging about five innings per start and the two guys they were counting on the most coming in, have not been crisp. Madison Bumgarner got lit up in game one, and his recent struggles go back to the end of the regular season. Also, Matt Cain wasn't bad in his two starts in the NLDS, but he had nowhere near the ace-like performances the Giants were hoping after the career year he just had. Cain will get the ball in the pivotal game three in St. Louis, and he has to feed off Vogey's great outing. Finally, there's no way Barry Zito should get a start vs. the right-handed heavy Cardinals' lineup, especially in St. Louis. Tim Lincecum has looked dominant in relief so far this postseason, but it's time he regains his normal role in the rotation, and it would be a mistake if Bochy isn't starting him in game 4.

Now, while the starting pitching, for the most part, has been a bit of a letdown, the Giants offense has responded well after putting up just 4 runs in the first 3 games of the NLDS. They didn't come back to win game one of this series, but it had to boost their confidence knowing they'll be able to score some runs off St. Louis should they get down early again (just hopefully no more 6-run deficits). Monday's game was a huge one in my mind though. Not only because they won, but the way they did it. It was the best I've seen the team play all postseason, and it's come in game two of the NLCS. They finally used the typical Giants winning formula we saw so often in the regular season; jumping out to an early lead, Pagan and Scutaro each contributing, and really terrific pitching efforts all the way around. If they stick to that formula, they'll be next to impossible to beat. The big concern heading into game three though is obviously the health of Scutaro. After Matt Holliday barreled into him on that double play attempt, he had to leave the game, but not before coming up with the biggest hit for the Giants. If he can't go Wednesday though, it'll be a huge blow to San Francisco. All we can do at this point is cross our fingers and hope he wakes up tomorrow ready to go.

As far as the slide itself, it was obviously unnecessarily late, but I don't think Holliday went in there hoping he'd knock Scutaro out of the game. What kind of got me was the barrel role over Scutaro though, that was too much. Whenever you slide over the base and are clearly making an attempt to take out a defender, you better be ready for the consequences. There's no question that the play did light a fire under the Giants, and I absolutely expect to see someone wear one for the Cards at some point down the line in this series. If Scutaro is forced to miss any time, I would hope Joaquin Arias gets the nod at second over Theriot.
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2 Comments:

  • At 9:22 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    I think that Bochy will pitch Lincecum in game4, but game 3 may be the key to the series as the Giants will need an ace like performance from Cain to try and take at least one game at St.Louis. Game 5 will be scary no matter what if it is between Bumgarner and Zito against that lineup. Hopefully that will not be the must win game, as the bullpen may be needed by the second inning.

     
  • At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Big game tomorrow, can't believe it's a 1PM game though. Sucks everybody will be at work!

     

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