The Bottom Line

— The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night by a score of 6-4, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead for the NLCS.

— David Freese picked up right where left off from the 2011 NLCS after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning, his first postseason home run since Game Six.

— Carlos Beltran hit his 29th postseason career home run, putting the Cardinals up 6-0 and knocking starter Madison Bumgarner  out of the game, who only lasted 3 2/3 innings.

Lance Lynn started off great, pitching three hitless innings. But it was the fourth that got him — he was completely ineffective, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits. It was Lynn’s fourth appearance in the last six postseason game. Joe Kelly came in to relieve him and subsequently got Angel Pagan to knock a ball up the middle that Daniel Descalso knocked down to get the final out.

— Joe Kelly, Marc Rzepczynski, Trevor Rosenthal, Edward MujicaMitchell Boggs, and Jason Motte all combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings, only allowing a combined one hit.

THE OFFENSE: They came out swinging tonight. Between Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, and Carlos Beltran, this offense refuses to slow down, no matter who they’re facing. The Cardinals have now put themselves in a very good position for the rest of the series. They obviously come home to Busch Stadium on Wednesday for three straight games, and the fact that Kyle Lohse still has two starts in this series is something that really comforts me.

LANCE LYNN: Lynn clearly needs a couple days off. To keep switching between the role of reliever and starter is something that’s not healthy for a pitcher who logged close to 200 innings during the season, in addition to the added pressure of executing in the postseason. Matheny should rest him tomorrow so he is all set to go for the remainder of this series, because his arm is clearly and understandably tired.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: There wasn’t any Cardinals fan tonight who felt comfortable after having a 6-0 lead, particularly after the Giants scored 4 in the fourth. The amount of resiliency and mental toughness this team shows though is as good as they come. Joe Kelly came in and pitched his way out of a difficult situation, and the bullpen was nearly flawless from there. The fourth inning was one of the most bizarre innings I’ve ever seen, seeing as both teams scored four runs and both starting pitchers were knocked out. I thought the rest of the game was fairly uneventful…

What’s Next: Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals will take on Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants for the second game of the National League Championship Series on Monday night. 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.