Giants at Cardinals: NLCS Game 5 Preview
Backs squarely against the wall, the San Francisco Giants are down to their last hope, and it comes in the most ironic of forms — Barry William Zito.
After an 8-3 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals last night put them in a 3-1, best-of-seven hole, the G-men must now rely on a pitcher who for most of his six seasons in San Francisco has been the target of jokes and ire.
Zito, whose licks on his guitar are quicker than his best fastball, will take the mound in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series tonight in St. Louis.
FOX will broadcast the game, with the first pitch coming shortly after 5:00 p.m. A few tickets are available at TiqIQ.
Zito, who still has a year left on his 7-year, $126 million contract, has had a very good season (relatively speaking), going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.389 WHIP. But most Giants fans still shudder at the sound of his name.
The 34-year old southpaw is a mediocre 4-3 in postseason play during his 13-year career with a 3.45 ERA and 1.255 WHIP. In his only playoff appearance this year, Zeets allowed two runs on four hits and four walks in just 2.2 innings in the Giants’ 8-3 NLDS Game 4 win over the Reds.
In nine career outings against the Cardinals, Zito is 2-6 with a 4.89 ERA and 1.732 WHIP, most recently beating the Redbirds 4-2 back on August 7.
St. Louis will counter with Lance Lynn tonight.
Lynn, who went 18-7 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.318 WHIP this season, lasted just 3.2 innings against the Giants in Game 1 of this series, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. So he’s definitely hittable.
In his only regular season start against the G-men on Aug. 7, Lance was tagged for four runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings in a 4-2 loss. The 25-year old right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in two regular season starts against San Francisco.
The key for the Giants tonight as they teeter on the brink of elimination? It’s simple. They need to hit the damn ball. Zito hasn’t tossed a shutout in a seven-plus inning outing since July and it’s pretty much a given that San Francisco will need to score some runs, lots of ‘em. And with Lynn on the hill for St. Louis, this game just might have the makings of a real slug-fest.
My Game 5 Prediction: Giants 10, 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: Cardinals 7, Giants 1 (STL leads series 3-1)
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.