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Looking ahead to Game 6 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Giants

Oct 20, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

Ryan Vogelsong Bochy Getty Getty Images

The Cardinals were hoping to clinch their second consecutive National League pennant last night, but vintage Barry Zito showed up to ruin the party. While they still hold a 3-2 lead in the NLCS, the series will now shift to San Francisco for Game 6 on Sunday night. Let’s take a quick look at the pitching matchup, which is a rematch from the Giants’ 7-1 win in Game 2 on Monday.

Chris Carpenter will make the start for the Cardinals after giving up five runs (two earned) over just four innings back in Game 2. The 37-year-old right-hander served up a leadoff home run to Angel Pagan in the bottom of the first inning and committed a throwing error during a four-run fourth inning. He struck out just one batter while allowing six hits and two walks. Carpenter has a 3.04 ERA and 15/7 K/BB ratio in 26 2/3 innings over five total starts (including two postseason starts) since returning from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in September. However, he has yet to throw more than six innings. This will be the fifth time in his career that he will start a game with the chance to clinch a playoff series. He is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio in 28 innings in his previous four assignments.

Ryan Vogelsong will get the call for the Giants after tossing seven innings of one-run ball in Game 2. He allowed just four hits on the night while the only run he surrendered was on an RBI double by opposing pitcher Chris Carpenter. Vogelsong has been on a pretty nice roll recently, posting a microscopic 0.93 ERA in his last five starts dating back to the regular season. He had a 2.86 ERA in 15 starts at home this season, which was 10th-best among qualified National League starters. By the way, the National League starter with the best ERA at home this season? Matt Cain (2.03), who lines up to pitch a potential Game 7 against Kyle Lohse on Monday.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    I think that D. J. is implying that the pitching match ups favor San Francisco.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Heh. Well, I wouldn’t mind seven games. I generally root for more baseball whenever possible.

      • Brian Donohue - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        I am Cain. Never mind that man at third base; I am the Kung Fu master.

      • APBA Guy - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Totally. The people on my floor-males and females-have been wearing their Giants garb every day for the past few days-I want to see just how far they’re prepared to take it.

    • redbirdfan81 - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      I agree with the Canuck, but I would NEVER bet against Chris Carpenter. He’s too smart to get smoked twice in a week by the same team. And Lohse will hold them down if necessary as Cain hasn’t been himself for a month or so. I say Cards in 6, then bring on the Tigers & we’ll have a repeat of ’06. Finally Bud Selig has his head planted so far up his you-know-what, why should the World Series wait for Wednesday if this is over Sunday? I say line ’em up and let’s go Tuesday! Go Cards!

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        “I say line ‘em up and let’s go Tuesday!”

        Ummm….yeah…about that: You gotta’ win another game.
        Don’t ever…(under any circumstances)…count your chickens before they hatch.
        You just got taken to the wood shed by a very capable Giants team.
        A wood shed at your place no less. The Cardinals haven’t done anything yet.
        Don’t jinx a brother.

      • blabidibla - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Too late. redbirdfan81 just jinxed the Cards.

    • sailcat54 - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      The question the Giants need to answer has nothing to do with their pitching. It is entirely about whether their bats will show up tomorrow. If they hit, this series will go to a full seven games. Let’s hope the Giagntes remember how to hit the ball!

  2. detroitr1 - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    “…I say Cards in 6, then bring on the Tigers & we’ll have a repeat of ’06.”

    Verlander isn’t a rookie anymore. Just an FYI.

    • putitinmymouth69 - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Neither is wainwright, champ.

      • detroitr1 - Oct 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        “putitinmymouth69” stay classy, champ.

      • stuckonwords - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Wainwright is a fine pitcher, but he’s no Justin Verlander. I’m not saying St. Louis can’t beat Detroit…you just can’t ever count them out lately…but Detroit’s a whole lot better team overall than they were 6 years ago.

  3. cameltoehoe - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    “I got a message from Sam: Cardinals,….you in trouble girl!”

    • redbirdfan81 - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      The Cards are NEVER in trouble as long as they have one strike and one out left. The game ain’t over!

      • redbirdfan81 - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        I see the Tiger fans are reading and in denial! Get cocky please. You know what happened in ’06!!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Let’s make a deal. How about I don’t stereotype all Cards fans based on the comments of one person whose screen handle clearly indicates a lack of maturity and intelligence (see above), and you do the same regarding Tigers fans?

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        It’s an offer he can’t refuse!

  4. Marty - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    This postseason has been about overcoming unsurmountable odds, at least for both of these teams.

    Now, I’ve never seen such a 50-50 shot of anything in this post season. I wouldn’t give the edge to either team.

  5. TheBlindUmp - Oct 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Go Giants! Can’t Wait!

  6. blabidibla - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I’m going. Section 315 seat 17. So excited I just pooped my pants a little.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Enjoy the game. Go Cardinals!

      • sailcat54 - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        It’ll be a good game, too! I wish I were there at AT&T Park to see it! Go Giants!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        Go Giants!

  7. dirtydrew - Oct 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    If the Giants got a couple of timely hits, this series would look a lot different. With the crowd and Voggie, the Cards better pack a lunch. GO GIANTS!

  8. richwizl - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Two really good teams, a very even matchup; could go either way. This is good baseball.

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      It really is. These two teams have been the class of the National League, and have an incredible legacy to boot: think Stan the Man and the say hey kid. If this isn’t the essence of baseball, nothing is. Those Tigers are going to be very tough no matter who represents the NL.

  9. coachglove - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    “carpenter is to smat to get smoked twice in a week…” – ouch

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