Even with a 3 1/2-hour rain delay, the St. Louis Cardinals had things work out their way on Wednesday. After Carlos Beltran left the game early with a left knee strain, Matt Carpenter, his replacement, turned out to be a great substitute and hit the all-important two-run homer in the third inning. Also, before the umpires halted play in the seventh inning due to the heavy downpour, the Cardinals scored their third run when Marco Scutaro was unable to turn a double play with the bases loaded.
In hopes of tying up the series, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy has decided to turn to his most effective pitcher of the postseason in Tim Lincecum in Game 4. After three appearances out of the bullpen, most recently in Game 1 against the Cardinals on October 14, Lincecum earned the nod over Barry Zito for this crucial Game 4. In the past 25 seasons of NLCS play, teams leading 2-1 have gone on to win 17 of 21 times. By winning Game 4, the Giants would significantly improve their chances in advancing to the World Series and guarantee at least one more game at AT&T Park.
While fatigue has not been a problem for the starting pitcher coming out of the bullpen, this will be Lincecum's first start of the postseason and first start in 18 days. Even with his unconventional warm-up routine and ability to pitch well with less rest, the weather could once again play a factor in how long he pitches in the game. If a rain delay does come up while Lincecum is in the game, this could affect the duration of his start and will be something to watch as the game progresses and as the weather changes.
The San Francisco Giants will visit the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium located in St. Louis, MO on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. PT.
Cardinals lead 2-1.
Starting pitcher matchup:
San Francisco: Tim Lincecum
2012 regular season: 10-15, 5.18 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 190 Ks
Career regular season numbers vs. Cardinals: 5-1, 2.89 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 50 Ks
Career regular season numbers at Busch Stadium: 3-1, 3.21 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 31 Ks
St. Louis: Adam Wainwright
2012 regular season: 14-13, 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 184 Ks
Career regular season numbers vs. Giants: 2-44, 3.04 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 34 K
Career regular season numbers at Busch Stadium: 44-26, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 495 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 3:
Pablo Sandoval - 2-for-5, team's only RBI in third inning
Buster Posey - 1-for-2, drew two walks
Brandon Crawford - 2-for-3, drew one walk
Matt Carpenter - 1-for-3, two-run home run in third inning
David Freese - 2-for-3, scored run in seventh inning
Kyle Lohse - 5.2 innings pitched, seven hits allowed, one run scored, five walks, two strikeouts
Jason Motte - 2.0 innings pitched, zero hits or walks allowed
Tim Lincecum Profile, Yahoo! Sports
More from this contributor:
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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