Thursday, October 18, 2012

San Francisco Giants Unable to Capitalize Losing Game 3 of the National League Championship Series

The San Francisco Giants failed to capitalize during key situations in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series losing 3-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night.

With two outs in the top of the first, Pablo Sandoval singled off Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse before he retired Buster Posey.

Matt Cain took the mound hitting center fielder Jon Jay to begin the bottom of the first and right fielder
Carlos Beltran grounded into a double play. Left fielder Matt Holliday grounded out ending the first. Beltran would leave the game with a knee strain getting replaced by Matt Carpenter.

Angel Pagan singled and Marco Scutaro doubled leading off the top of the third creating a scoring opportunity for the big bats. Sandoval grounded out scoring Pagan and Lohse intentionally walked Posey.

Hunter Pence grounded into an inning ending double play wasting a scoring threat for the Giants.

After Cain got the first two Cardinals in the bottom of the third, Jay kept the inning alive with a single as Carpenter came to the plate. Facing a two-strike count, Carpenter connected with a two-run homer to right field giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. With that hit, Carpenter was 5-5 against Cain with a homer and four RBI's.

The Giants started a rally in the top of the seventh with one out as Sandoval and Posey drilled two straight singles. After the Cardinals made a double switch, Mitchell Boggs struck out Pence and Brandon Belt to conclude the seventh.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, third baseman David Freese doubled and Cain intentionally walked second baseman Daniel Descalso. Shortstop Pete Kozma singled loading the bases for Shane Robinson who was part of the double switch. Robinson grounded out to second scoring Freese ending Cain's night. Rain had been in the forecast prior to the game and during the inning it began to pour as this game entered a delay.

Play resumed after a 3 hour and 28 minute delay as the Cardinals had runners on second and third with two outs. Javier Lopez replaced Cain getting Jay to ground out.

Cardinals closer Jason Motte threw two scoreless innings needing just 19 pitches to finish off the Giants as the Cardinals won 3-1. They lead the series 2-1.

The Giants hammered out nine hits in the lost with eight of them singles. Scutaro, Sandoval and Crawford each chipped in with two on the night.

The Giants had plenty of chances throughout the game as Lohse walked five batters and they still could not
convert. They stranded 11 men on base, grounded into two double plays and went 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

One Giant who needs to step his game up is Pence who went 0-4 leaving five men on base and still has not produced an RBI in the postseason.

Cain did his part going 6.2 innings allowing six hits, three runs, one walk and two strikeouts dropping his postseason record to 1-2.

Since 2005 when the NLCS is tied at 1, the winner of Game of 3 has ultimately gone on to win the series the last five occasions. The orange and black hope that streak will end in 2012.

Tim Lincecum (1-0) makes his first start of the postseason in Game 4 Thursday night at 5:07 pm facing Adam Wainwright (0-0).

Dan Benton

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