The Bottom Line:

  • The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants in game three of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday afternoon by a score of 3-1. The Cardinals now hold a 2-1 lead in the series.
  • Kyle Lohse threw mostly well on Wednesday afternoon. He gave up 1 earned run on 7 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He had 4 walks and struck out two. Though he struggled with his location at times, he really thrived and was helped out tremendously by the defense behind him, getting two double plays.
  • Pablo Sandoval drove in his fourth runner this postseason with an RBI-ground out in the third inning. After intentionally (after he got to a 3-0 count) walking Buster Posey, Lohse got Hunter Pence to hit into a key double play, limiting the damage to just one run.
  • Matt Carpenter, who replaced Carlos Beltran in the second inning, hit a two run home run in the third inning to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
  • Matt Cain gave up two earned runs over a very solid outing, only giving up 4 hits and no walks. His only real mistake was the home run to Carpenter that gave the Cardinals the permanent lead.
  • With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Shane Robinson collected his first postseason RBI by grounding out with the bases loaded, extending the lead to 3-1. The game then entered into a rain delay that lasted 3 hours and 28 minutes.

KYLE LOHSE: Lohse was clearly not at his best today. He walked four batters in the first three innings (though one was partially intentional) and was just having trouble finding the strike zone in general. But, more importantly, he was able to get out of several jams, leaving nine runners on base, and that’s all that matters.

CARLOS BELTRAN: It’s pretty clear how detrimental of a loss this would be if Carlos Beltran is out of this lineup for…really any amount of time. He has been hands down the biggest bat in this lineup throughout this postseason and it worries me how much more they will be able to accomplish without him. It’s unclear to be what aggravated his knee exactly, but he did seem to jog pretty gingerly down to first after he grounded out in the first inning. More to come as this story develops.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Of COURSE Matt Carpenter was the one who hit a two-run home run today. Do you expect anything else from this team? The resiliency of this team, regardless of what happens, continues to (pleasantly) amaze me. That also speaks to the depth of this team, which seems to be limitless. The bullpen continues to be outstanding as Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs, and Jason Motte all contributed to allowing no earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. During the postseason, every out past the first three innings seems like an absolutely incredible accomplishment, at least from the sounds of the crowd. To perform under pressure like the bullpen has as of late, it’s very impressive.

The Giants went 0-for-7 on Wednesday with runners in scoring position…I’m so happy that that’s not the Cardinals. This continues to be one of the biggest indicators of success, particularly in the playoffs, and the Giants are simply not doing a good job of getting runners across. Lohse was not particularly outstanding today, and I was pretty (again, pleasantly) surprised that they were not able to take advantage.

What’s Next: The Cardinals are back at it again on Thursday night where Adam Wainwright will oppose Tim Lincecum. First pitch will be at 7:00 PM CST and can be seen on Fox. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. Go Cards.