The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants will meet up in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:07 ET on FOX
St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants
St. Louis held on to a 6-4 victory against San Francisco on Sunday night at AT&T Park, as the team scored six runs in the first four innings, but was didn’t manage to plate another run in the final four frames. The Cardinals have been bolstered by a bullpen that’s allowed just six earned runs in 30 postseason innings. “We’ve got a good bullpen, and we have to be ready,” stated Cardinals reliever Edward Mujica. In postseason series involving the franchise since 1987, the winner of the opening game has gone on to win 17 of the 23 series. St. Louis is 8-2 in its last 10 road games.
Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71 ERA) has gone 10-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 career postseason outings, which includes an 8-0 victory over the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the division series. The right-hander made just two starts on the road during the regular season, posting an 0-1 record and 3.27 ERA, with opposing hitters batting .220 against him. In eight career efforts versus the Giants, Carpenter has tallied a 4-1 mark and 3.57 ERA.
San Francisco has lost all three of its home games in the 2012 MLB playoffs, but still has a 10-5 all-time record at this ballpark in NLCS action. The Giants have been victimized by not having a starting pitcher last six full innings since the regular season ended, which is taking its toll on the bullpen. “I think it’s a little surprising,” stated Giants catcher Buster Posey. The club made it to this point by eliminating the Cincinnati Reds in the previous round. San Francisco is 1-4 in its last five playoff games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 2-1 win over the Reds on Oct. 9, allowing one run and three hits over five frames. The right-hander went 7-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 home starts this year, surrendering nine home runs in 94.1 innings of work. In 16 career games (six starts) versus the Cardinals, Volgelsong has compiled a 2-4 record and 6.51 ERA, including a 15-0 road win on Aug. 8.
Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 6-1 record in the series with Carpenter on the mound.