St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants (-115, 6.5)St. Louis leads series 3-2.
The St. Louis 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, St. Louis is 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 San Francisco Giants proved they can win the hard way after taking three straight against Cincinnati 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.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, FOXWEATHER:
Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the high-40s under partly cloudy skies. Winds will blow out to right field at 11 mph.
Cardinals RH Chris Carpenter (1-1, 1.86 ERA) vs. Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 1.50)
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 San Francisco. 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.
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 Aug. 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. TRENDS:
* Cardinals are 8-0 in their last eight games following a loss.
* Giants are 4-1 in Vogelsong’s last five starts.
* Over is 5-0 in Cardinals’ last five playoff games as an underdog.
* Over is 8-0 in Giants’ last eight playoff home games.UMP TRENDS- Jerry Layne:
* Over is 10-2 in Layne’s last 12 games behind home plate.
* Cardinals are 9-1 in their last 10 games with Layne behind home plate.
* Road team is 15-6 in Layne’s last 21 games behind home plate.WALK-OFFS:
1. The Giants are looking to become the seventh team to win a League Championship Series after trailing 3-1 since the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1985.
2. Carpenter has started with a chance for his team to clinch a playoff series four times in his career, with the Cardinals going 3-1. He has a 1.93 ERA in those starts over 28 innings.
3. The Giants are 4-1 when scoring four or more runs in the postseason and 1-4 when scoring three runs or fewer.