And Brandon Crawford delivered another key hit for us. True, it was not the first and winning run, but at that point, a 1-0 lead is nothing against their tough team, but his working the count and getting the pitch he wanted extended the lead to a more sturdy 3-0 and allowed Zito - who had his FIRST EVER bunt single in his career - drive in another run, for a strong 4-0 lead, given how Zito was pitching. After that, Zito was 3 up and 3 downing them. Crawford has shown a lot in these playoffs, that is one clear lesson of these playoffs, he's going to be a guy we can rely on in tough situations, offensively as well as defensively. Thank goodness he had that down Junior year, else another team would have drafted him in the first round, as he was projected to go, instead of back in the 4th round where the Giants got him.
And Sandoval's homer - second in two games - sealed the deal at 5-0. I can't believe I saw some people want to sit Sandoval down in order to play Arias.
As a contrast in managerial style, a couple of years ago, in the same situation, Bochy told his team not to pack just in case and they won. In this game, Matheny told his team to pack just in case they needed to get to SF. That might have subconsciously affected the team - the manager isn't confident that we can beat Zito and the Giants and not have to travel back to SF. Or maybe not, either way, we WON!!!
Game 6: Carpenter vs. Vogelsong
Chris Carpenter: Carpenter will look to bounce back from a Game 2 loss, the second-shortest postseason outing of his career, when he takes the hill in Game 6, the Cards' second shot at closing out the Giants. Carpenter started the '11 NLDS and World Series clinchers.
Ryan Vogelsong: Vogelsong's lack of postseason experience hasn't seemed to affect him through his first two playoff starts. After allowing one run in five innings in his lone NLDS start, Vogelsong allowed just one run over seven innings in Game 2 against the Cards.Here is what I wrote last time:
Carpenter is amazing, coming back from missing all that time with his injury, then after mid-season surgery. And all at 37 YO. He worked his way up too. He had a 3 PQS but probably could have had a 4 if he could have went one more inning, he appeared to have been capped as to pitch count. Then he had two DOM starts to end the season. He had a 1 PQS disaster start in the playoffs, but was able to stop the damage and ended up with a shutout in 5.2 IP against the Nationals, and one more out would have made it a 2 PQS start. And he has been great in his career, so he looks to be a tough pitcher to hit against.
He has two starts, but long ago, 2004 and 2009, against the Giants. But Pence has faced him a lot with the Astros. Huff and Theriot too, but only Theriot has any success (a lot of success at that, .467/.500/.667/1.167), Pence and Huff were pretty much shut down (under .600 OPS). Sandoval has done OK, in multiple games, .730 OPS. The rest are just one game, presumably in St. Louis. Posey, Belt, and Crawford did well.In the second game, Carpenter had a disaster start while Vogelsong had a DOM start and the Giants coasted to a 7-1 victory. He has now had two DIS starts in a row in the playoffs for the Cards, while Vogelsong is the only starter for the Giants to throw two in a row. He also ended the season on a row, with three, for a total of five now.
He hasn't been as good in recent years as he was before, but he generally has shut down RHB and been hit OK (.272/.332/.426/.758) by LHB, and as noted before, we have a number of LHB in our lineup. He has also done a little worse on the road than at home. But he has been in a good groove since recovering from his surgery, and presumably his poor results were related to the physical problem that was fixed by the surgery.
Vogelsong had a good year, again, 65% DOM, only 13% DIS, so it should be a good battle in this game. He has a bad history against the Cards, but more importantly for us, in the last two years, he has pretty much shut them down, 1 run in 5.0 IP in 2011, 0 run in 7.0 IP in 2012 (2 PQS and 3 PQS), shutting down the other team when he wasn't at his best. He has done very well against RHP in the past two seasons, pretty good against LHP (low 700 OPS). However, Beltran is a new guy and has done very well against Vogie, 1.319 OPS (including HR), also Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter had good success in limited exposure. But he has mostly shut down the team, as his results the past two years show.
The Giants again look good for this rematch with a Cards pitcher. Carpenter did not show anything in his last start, giving up 6 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings, with only one strikeout. He only had 46 strikes in 76 pitches. In the start against Washington, he shut them out, but still gave up 7 hits and 2 walks in 5.2 IP, with only 2 strikeouts. He did better there, with 69 strikeouts in 106 pitches. But as I noted, a DIS start sabermetrically.
In the Giants game, Pagan, Scutaro, and Belt had two hits each, Pagan had a homer and Belt a double. Of course, there was a key error by Carpenter that allowed the game to get away from them there, as well, plus Holliday's error didn't help either. He has done better at home, but if he's done already, or has hit a dead arm phase, he's doing his team a disservice starting, though, at this point, there is probably nobody else to turn to that is a good replacement, you have to cross your fingers and go with the usually better pitcher and hope for the best.
So it's hard to call the game. I expect it to be a pretty close game, but it could open up if Carpenter is as lost this game as he was in his last game. Vogie appears to be back on his rolls where he just dominates, like El Machino, churning out the DOM starts, giving us great pitched games over and over again.
For all the crap that some fans give the Giants for how they run their farm system, aren't you glad that they made the team environment so appealingly that Vogelsong would rather take a lesser job and opportunity with the Giants than have to sign with the D-gers? I mean, can you imagine if he did what he did for LA the last two years instead of for us? Who would have been our 5th pitcher, Hacker? Petit?
One thing I want to point out is that the Giants pitching rotation is a very competitive bunch, and there seems to be a tendency for them to do poorly en masse, then do very well en masse. Great example was in 2010, they were struggling through August, then one guy pitches well, then another, then it became this competition of anything you can do, I can do just as well. Likewise, when one struggles, most of the other struggles as they TRY to be the one to bring up the group and get everyone going. Zito's start could be the fuse that lights up our rotation for game 5 and 6, beyond what good starts Vogie and Cain did before.
I feel good about this start, make it so Vogie!
Come on Giants: #Avenge1987