Big League Stew

NLCS Game 2: Ryan Vogelsong lifts Giants with strong effort, San Francisco ties series

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(Getty Images)

Score and situation: The San Francisco Giants evened the NLCS at one game apiece with a 7-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on Monday night.

Leading lads: Now there's the starting pitching that San Francisco fans have come to know and love. Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven innings of one-run baseball, becoming the first Giants starter to go more than six innings this postseason. Second baseman Marco Scutaro stayed in the game long enough after a hard takeout slide from Matt Holliday to hit a fourth inning single that brought in three runs and gave the Giants a commanding 5-1 lead. 

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(AP)

Head hangers: The Cardinals were 13-3 during postseason season starts by Chris Carpenter, but they're now 13-4 after the veteran allowed five runs — though only two were earned —in four innings of work. The Cardinals lineup was surprisingly ineffective, managing only five hits. The only hit the team's 4-9 batters managed was a ninth-inning single from Yadier Molina.

[Related: Tigers pitching making quick work of impotent Yankees]

Key play: Scutaro's three-run single to left put the Giants in control and was a karmic form of retribution after Holliday's hard slide in the first. Holliday let Scutaro's hit go through his legs, allowing an extra run to score and Scutaro to move up to second on the throw. Scutaro would later leave the game and have X-rays on his left hip. Manager Bruce Bochy announced after the game that the X-rays were negative.

Interesting stat: The Giants franchise had never had a postseason leadoff homerun before this October but Angel Pagan now has two to his name. His first-inning shot off Carpenter put the Giants on the board and paired with his NLDS Game 4 homer off Mike Leake as his own little slice of history.

What they'll be talking about: The Holliday slide and the availability of Scutaro will be a hot topic. Though Fox endlessly speculated about possible retaliation from the Giants, it never came and San Francisco seemed content to get their revenge through the box score. As for the actual baseball, Game 3's a big one. Can Matt Cain put together a Vogelsong-type performance to keep San Francisco's momentum going? Or will the Cardinals offense bloom again upon its return to Busch Stadium for the first time since Game 2 of the NLDS?

What's next: The series shifts to St. Louis for Wednesday's Game 3. Matt Cain and Kyle Lohse are the scheduled starters with first pitch scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET.

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(AP)

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