The San Francisco Giants had one objective after they knew they wouldn’t be able to win the series in St. Louis this past week – get it back home, and get it back home they did. After a flawless performance from Barry Zito on Friday night, the Giants returned home with Ryan Vogelsong on the bump and the Giants’ storybook pitcher wrote yet another amazing chapter in his baseball journey.
Oct 21, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Fans wave towels during the first inning of game six of the 2012 NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park – ©Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Already helping save the Giants’ season once in the Divisional round versus the Cincinnati Reds, Vogelsong again wore his Superman cape, helping the Giants avoid elimination with seven innings of overpowering stuff. The Giants jumped out to an lead early in part to Marco Scutaro (who else) and Pablo Sandoval as the two found themselves on base in the bottom of the first, Scutaro thanks to a walk – Sandoval thanks to a double. A Buster Posey RBI groundout broke the stalemate, but it was a four run second inning that did in the Cardinals. A Brandon Belt triple followed by a Brandon Crawford walk put runners on the corners for Ryan Vogelsong who then squared to bunt before pulling it back and swinging away. Crawford, who was running on the pitch, caused Cardinal shortstop Pete Kozma to get out of position, resulting in an error, the run scoring and both Crawford and Voglesong reaching safely. An out later and Marco Scutaro (again) delivered the crushing blow – a two run, two out double that gave the Giants a 5-0 lead. That’s all they’d need with Vogelsong dealing as the Giants took Game 6, 6-1.
ReMARCOble -Although he struggled during the Giants’ NLDS, Marco Scutaro has once again found his swing, batting .458 in the NLCS, finding himself on base 12 times in just six games. The Giants’ mid-season acquisition not only seems to consistently find himself on the basepaths, but does so at the most opportune of times, much like his two run double in the second inning. The double also plated Marco’s third and fourth RBI of the series – second on the team behind Pablo Sandoval’s five NLCS RBI.
AT&T Park – ©Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
#RallyEnchiladas – A few nights after Barry Zito pitched the game of his life, Ryan Vogelsong did the same – tossing seven innings of one run ball, en route to a career high of nine strikeouts. Vogey had the Cardinals off balance all night as he mixed in his changeup perfectly with his well spotted fastball, limiting the Red Birds to only four hits along with a first inning walk. After saving the Giants in Cincinnati and then throwing a marvelous Game 2 of the NLCS, Vogelsong somehow looked even better tonight – a remarkable feat given the two previous performances. The Giants’ postseason ace has now given up just three earned runs in 19 innings of playoff ball.
Matt Cain will take the mound in tomorrow’s do-or-die Game 7 as the Giants try to make history and win their sixth consecutive elimination game of the postseason – this time with a trip to the World Series on the line.