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NLCS Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, October 17th (All times Eastern)
San Francisco Giants (4-3) at St. Louis Cardinals (5-3), 4:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Matt Cain (1-1, 5.06) St. Louis - Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.29)
(Sports Network) - Marco Scutaro expects to be in the lineup for the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, as the National League Championship Series shifts to Busch Stadium for Game 3.
Scutaro injured his hip on Sunday after getting barreled into by St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday, who was trying to break up a double play. Scutaro stayed in the game after that first-inning collision and had a two-run single as part of a four-run fourth inning in San Francisco's 7-1 triumph.
"All of a sudden, I saw this train coming," said Scutaro, who eventually left the game in the fifth inning. "I didn't have time to do anything. As soon as I caught the ball, he was pretty much on top of me. I don't know how I threw the ball to first. But I think I did, right?"
Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven frames of one-run ball to get the win, as the Giants evened the best-of-seven set at a game apiece.
"All his pitches were right in the zone, you know, hitting the corners and getting the hitters off balance," said Giants center fielder Angel Pagan, who homered to lead off the game.
Chris Carpenter (1-1), last season's postseason hero who brought a career 10-2 mark in the playoffs coming in for the Cardinals, was touched for five runs -- two earned -- on six hits and two walks in just four innings.
"We have faith in him in these situations and know he'll come out next opportunity and make good pitches for us," Cards manager Mike Matheny said of Carpenter.
After the game, though, all anyone wanted to talk about was Holliday's takeout slide.
"He showed how tough he is, and I really think they got away with an illegal slide there," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "(Holliday) didn't hit dirt until he was past the bag. Marco was behind the bag and got smoked. It's a shame somebody got hurt because of this. And that's more of a roadblock."
Holliday, who was booed lustily the rest of the night, also misplayed Scutaro's big hit in the fourth. After the game, he defended his takeout slide.
"You're trying to get to the second baseman and obviously try to knock him down so he can't turn a double play," Holliday said. "As long as you're in the baseline, it's within the rules."
On Wednesday, the Giants will turn to righty Matt Cain, who will be starting on five days' rest after getting the win in San Francisco's Game 5 NLDS win over the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday. He was 1-1 in that series despite a 5.06 ERA.
"He's got four pitches, and his makeup is off the charts," said Bochy. "He's so consistent. He goes out there and gives everything he's got every time."
The 28-year-old right-hander, who was 8-2 in 17 road starts this season, was 16-5 during the year with a 2.79 ERA. He was just 1-1 in two starts versus the Cardinals, but surrendered nine runs in 11 2/3 innings of those outings.
"From top to bottom, they have a bunch of guys that can hit home runs. But they're not all trying to do that at the same time," Cain said, implying he has to attack the St. Louis lineup with a varied game plan. "They're all trying also to hit for a decent average, so they don't go up there with the same plan of trying to hit home runs. They can work counts and do different things and move guys around the bases, too."
St. Louis, meanwhile, will rely on righty Kyle Lohse, who was the Cardinals' most consistent starter this season, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA.
"He's been incredible at making pitches, from Day 1 in Miami, Opening Day, right up until his last start," Matheny said. "That just takes a great deal of physical skill and just mental toughness to stay as locked in as he's been."
Lohse has faced the Giants five times and is 3-2 with a 3.78 ERA against them.
San Francisco has played the Cardinals twice before in the playoffs. St. Louis edged the Giants in a thrilling seven-game series in 1987, but San Francisco got its revenge in 2002 with a five-game win in the LCS.
This is the first matchup between the two previous World Series winners since the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves dueled in the 1958 Fall Classic.
10/17 10:34:19 ET
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