Monday, October 15, 2012
Home has not been sweet so far for Giants
By Katie Sharp
AP Photo/Matt SlocumThe road has been a friendly place for teams in the 2012 postseason and the St. Louis Cardinals hope to continue that trend in Game 2 of the NLCS tonight in San Francisco. The Cardinals are 4-1 on the road this postseason; overall, road teams have a 16-9 advantage in the first three rounds so far.
Chris Carpenter has 10 postseason wins, the fourth-most among NL pitchers.
The San Francisco Giants have lost all three of their games at AT&T Park this postseason. The three-game losing streak matches their longest postseason home losing streak in franchise history.
It is just the third time the Giants have lost three straight home postseason games in a single year, and the first time it has happened since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958. The New York Giants lost three home games in a row in the 1913 World Series and the 1923 World Series, losing both series.
Chris Carpenter Stats To Watch
Carpenter is 5-0 in his last seven postseason starts since the start of the 2011 postseason, matching Bob Gibson (1964-68) for the longest streak of undefeated postseason starts in Cardinals history. His five straight wins are two shy of the Cardinals postseason record set by Gibson from 1964-68.
Carpenter had arguably his best start since returning from the disabled list when he blanked the Washington Nationals over 5⅔ innings in Game 3 of the NLDS. He pitched brilliantly when the pressure was on, holding the Nationals hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Four of the seven outs with RISP came on his slider. The slider has been his primary out-pitch this season, throwing it more than one-third of the time with two strikes. The 35 sliders he has thrown in two-strike counts this season have netted him 17 outs, including eight strikeouts, and just one baserunner allowed.
Ryan Vogelsong Stats To Watch
Vogelsong made one start against the Cardinals in the regular season, throwing seven scoreless innings on August 8. In that game, Vogelsong threw 70 percent fastballs, his highest usage of the pitch the entire season.
Vogelsong was effective with his fastball against the Cardinals by keeping it off the middle of the plate. More than 85 percent of the pitches he threw in that game were either on the outer-third or inner-third of the plate or off the outside corners, and 17 of the 20 outs he recorded came on pitches to those locations.
How to get David Freese out
Freese is the new Mr. October, with at least one hit in 22 of 25 career postseason games for a career postseason batting average of .386.
The one strategy that might work against Freese in the postseason is to challenge him with pitches up in the zone, especially fastballs. Pitchers have thrown him 89 pitches chest-high or above and gotten eight outs with no hits allowed.
You don’t want to miss your spot against Freese, though. He has 25 hits in 44 at-bats (.568) ending in a belt-high pitch over the heart of the plate in his postseason career.