Giants vs. Cardinals: NLCS Game 2 Preview
San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong squares off against St. Louis’s Chris Carpenter tonight in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. First pitch is slated for 5:07 p.m. and the contest can be seen on the FOX network.
If you need tickets to the game at AT&T Park, you can still fetch some here, via TiqIQ.
The Cardinals took Game One last night by a score of 6-4, rocking Giants starter Madison Bumgarner for six earned runs on eight hits and a walk in 3.2 innings of work.
Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37) hopes to right San Francisco’s ship tonight with a win. The 34-year old right-hander is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his last five starts against St. Louis.
Vogey has been solid against the Cards since his resurgence in 2011, though, shutting them out over seven innings in his last start against them — a 15-0 blowout on August 8 — and allowing just one run in five innings in a no-decision on May 31, 2011.
A Giants win tonight might not be so easy, as San Francisco has lost every game at AT&T Park so far this postseason. So much for home field advantage.
Carpenter (0-2, 3.71) made just three starts in the 2012 regular season due to a shoulder injury, but his work in the postseason is legendary. The 37-year old righty hurled 5.2 scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals last week, and is 10-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.240 WHIP in 16 career postseason starts (100 innings pitched).
Carpenter is 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.321 WHIP in eight lifetime outings (53 IP) against the Giants, winning his only two starts at AT&T Park (2004, 2009).
Among current Giants players, Ryan Theriot has the most ownage against Carpenter. Theriot is 7-for-15 lifetime against Carp. Hunter Pence has faced Carpenter 27 times, more than any other Giant, but has just five hits (.185) — one of them a home run — and a walk to show for it. Buster Posey (2-for-4), Pablo Sandoval (2-for-7, BB), Brandon Belt (1-for-2, BB), and Brandon Crawford (1-for-2) have had limited success against Carpenter. Gregor Blanco is 0-for-2 with a walk, and Xavier Nady is 1-for-8 in their respective careers against Carpenter. Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Hector Sanchez have never faced him.
As for Vogelsong, he will want to be careful with Carlos Beltran (4-for-11, HR, 2 BB) and Jon Jay (3-for-6), both of whom have torched him pretty good in the past. As for that David Freese character? He’s 0-for-3 lifetime against Vogey.
The key for the Giants tonight is simple: Pagan needs to get on base, early and often. When the Giants’ leadoff hitter sets the table, good things happen. He’s never faced Carpenter, though, so there’s no telling who will win that particular match-up tonight.
My Game 2 Prediction: Giants 5, Cardinals 4
Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4 (STL leads series 1-0)
Game 2: Cardinals @ Giants: Mon., Oct. 15, 5:00 p.m.
Game 3: Giants @ Cardinals: Wed., Oct. 17, 1:00 p.m.
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.