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Giants and Cardinals Meet in NLCS Game 7 for World Series Berth: Fan’s Preview

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In a NLCS matchup featuring the last two World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are heading to a fitting Game 7 to see who heads to this year's World Series to face American League champion Detroit Tigers. Following their 5-0 win in Game 5 and 6-1 win in Game 6, the Giants are now 5-0 in elimination games this postseason. Faced with a new situation in the form of the National League Wild Card game, the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves in the one-game playoff and look to be the first team to win 12 games for a World Series title.

While each team's path to and through the postseason has been unique, the two teams now face in a Game 7 that will ultimately end the hopes of one team while propelling the championship aspirations of the other. In these past two wins for San Francisco, it has been a combined effort of great pitching and opportune hitting in decisive victories. For the Cardinals, they'll need a solid outing from Kyle Lohse for a chance at winning this game after poor outings by Lance Lynn in Game 5 and Chris Carpenter in Game 6.

As for Giants starter Matt Cain, he is no stranger to the big game environment in this postseason. The starter for NLDS Game 5 against the Cincinnati Reds, his start was good enough for the Giants' 6-4 victory. Progressively improving in each of his three playoff starts, Cain could be hitting his peak at the most opportune moment for his team.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will host the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park located in San Francisco, CA on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Series record:

Series tied 3-3.

Starting pitcher matchup:

St. Louis: Kyle Lohse

2012 postseason: 2-0, 1.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 13 Ks

2012 regular season: 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 143 Ks

Career regular season numbers vs. Giants: 3-2, 3.78 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 19 K

Career regular season numbers at AT&T Park: 3-1, 3.42 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 14 Ks

San Francisco: Matt Cain

2012 postseason: 1-2, 4.67 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 11 Ks

2012 regular season: 16-5, 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 193 Ks

Career regular season numbers vs. Cardinals: 2-3, 4.94 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 38 Ks

Career regular season numbers at AT&T Park: 47-38, 2.98 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 662 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be nationally watched on FOX and heard live on ESPN Radio.

Key contributors of Game 6:

St. Louis:

Allen Craig - 1-for-4, team's only RBI in sixth inning

Shelby Miller - 2.0 innings pitched, one hit allowed, zero runs allowed, two strikeouts

Fernando Salas - 1.1 innings pitched, zero hits allowed, zero runs allowed, two strikeouts

San Francisco:

Marco Scutaro - 2-for-3, two runs scored, two-RBI double in second inning, one walk

Brandon Belt - 2-for-4, two runs scored in second and eighth innings

Ryan Vogelsong - 7.0 innings pitched, four hits allowed, one run allowed, one walk, career-high nine strikeouts, RBI in second inning

Sergio Romo - 1.0 innings pitched, zero hits allowed, zero runs allowed, one strikeouts, pitched perfect ninth inning

Sources:

Cardinals, Giants meet in appropriate Game 7, MLB.com

Cardinals-Giants Preview, AP

More from this contributor:

Fan's Preview: Can Ryan Vogelsong Once Again Best Chris Carpenter in NLCS Game 6?

Fan's Preview: Can Barry Zito Save Giants Postseason Again in NLCS Game 5?

Tim Lincecum Gets First 2012 Postseason Start in NLCS Game 4: Fan's Preview

Fan's Preview - Will Chris Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong Fare Better in NLCS Game 2?

NLCS Game 1 Features Giants' Madison Bumgarner vs. Cardinals' Lance Lynn: Fan's Preview

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.

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