MLB Playoffs Games for 10/21
The NLCS continues on Sunday. Here's a preview of the game.
National League Championship Series Game 6
St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants
7:30 PM ET, October 21
The Cardinals have blown a 3-1 lead in a postseason series three times in their history, but they're not thinking about that as they head west for the rest of the National League Championship Series. Instead, the Cardinals are looking to rebound from a 5-0 loss in Game 5 that trimmed their series lead to 3-2 with Game 6 looming on Sunday. The Giants proved they can win the hard way after taking three straight against the Reds to capture the NL Division Series, and they have Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain lined up to start the final two games of the NLCS. Pablo Sandoval has homered in each of his last two games, and he's hitting .310 (13-for-42) with three home runs in 10 postseason games.
The Cardinals are seeking more offensive consistency after batting .198 through the first three games of the series and going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Game 5. While Matt Holliday went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Friday, Carlos Beltran had a double and a stolen base after missing Game 4 with a strained left knee. The Giants are also hoping to get more production from the heart of their order, starting with MVP candidate Buster Posey, who is 3-for-18 with three walks in the NLCS. Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco have both struggled this postseason, but manager Bruce Bochy has been reluctant to replace either outfielder with Xavier Nady. Pence is one of the Giants' clubhouse leaders, but he's hitting just .154 (6-for-39) in the playoffs.
Chris Carpenter (1-1, 1.86 ERA) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Chris Carpenter is looking to redeem himself after allowing five runs (two earned) over four innings against the Giants in Game 2. Pence is 5-for-28 with seven strikeouts against Carpenter, who is 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA in eight career starts against the Giants. Carpenter, who is one win shy of tying Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling for the fifth-most playoff victories in history (11), missed the first 150 games of the season with a right shoulder injury.
Ryan Vogelsong has been a pleasant surprise this postseason, posting a 1.50 ERA and allowing only seven hits in 12 innings over two starts. He gave up one run over seven frames in Game 2, and he threw seven scoreless innings in a 15-0 win at Busch Stadium on August 8. Yadier Molina is 3-for-14 and Beltran is 6-for-13 with a home run against Vogelsong, who finished the regular season with a 0.53 ERA over his final three starts.
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