Giants at Cardinals: NLCS Game 4 Preview
Yesterday was a day of missed opportunities washed down the drain with the Missouri rainstorm that swept through Busch Stadium as the St. Louis Cardinals took Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, 3-1.
The Giants went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 runners on the night. They couldn’t muster a hit against Cards closer Jason Motte in their final two innings, after a three-and-a-half hour rain delay.
Tonight, the San Francisco Giants will send Tim Lincecum out to the mound to try and even the series back up.
The game can be seen on FOX at 5:00 p.m. and fans can still gobble up a few tickets to the game at TiqIQ. The forecast for tonight in St. Louis calls for wind and a few showers (30% chance of rain), so there’s definitely the possibility of another stoppage of play.
Hopefully, that won’t stop the Giants or Tim Lincecum.
As a reliever, Timmy has been lights out this postseason. In three appearances, he has allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out nine in 8.1 innings. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is hoping The Freak can transfer some of his “Fear The Beardless” mojo back into his starting role. Lincecum had the worst season of his career in 2012, going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA and 1.468 WHIP in 33 starts.
The Cardinals will counter with Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94, 1.248). The 31-year old righty got drenched like the St. Louis rain in his last outing, when the Nationals went off for 13 hits, three walks and seven runs off him in Game 5 of the NLDS. Amazingly, St. Louis would score four runs in the 9th inning of that game to beat the Nats 9-7 and advance to the NLCS.
Overall, Wainwright has been mostly solid in the playoffs, going 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.130 WHIP in 12 career postseason appearances, three as a starter.
Against the Giants, Wainwright is 2-4 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in eight career outings (six as a starter). He faced San Francisco twice this season, losing 7-5 on May 17 at AT&T Park, and winning 3-1 on Aug. 9 at Busch Stadium.
Lincecum’s postseason numbers are pretty terrific, too. He’s 5-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 0.838 WHIP in nine career playoff games, five as a starter.
Historically, Big Time Timmy Jim’s been pretty good against the Cardinals. Lincecum owns a career mark of 5-1/2.89/1.157 against the Redbirds. He hasn’t faced them as a starter since 2011, though, when he allowed five runs on 10 hits in a 7-5 loss on June 1, 2011.
The key for the Giants tonight is getting the bats of Buster Posey and Hunter Pence to come alive. Posey has just two singles in 13 plate appearances against the Cardinals so far and Pence has one single in 12 PA. Strong performances by the Giants’ heart of the order will give them the win tonight.
My Game 4 Prediction: Giants 6, Cardinals 4
Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4 (STL leads series 1-0)
Game 2: Giants 7, Cardinals 1 (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: Cardinals 3, Giants 1 (STL leads series 2-1)
Game 4: Giants @ Cardinals: Thurs., Oct. 18, 5:00 p.m.
Game 5: Giants @ Cardinals: Fri., Oct. 19, 5:00 p.m.
*Game 6: Cardinals @ Giants: Sun., Oct. 21, 1:30 p.m.
*Game 7: Cardinals @ Giants: Mon., Oct. 22, 5:00 p.m.