The Bottom Line:
— The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the San Francisco Giants on Monday night in game two of the NLCS by a score of 7-1. The series is now tied at 1-1.
— Angel Pagan hit a solo home run in the first inning to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. He hit one home run at AT&T Park during the entire 2012 regular season.
— Chris Carpenter did not pitch his best tonight. He only made it through four innings and let up five runs (only two earned though) on six hits. He did help out his cause though by hitting an RBI-double in the fourth to drive in Pete Kozma
— Brandon Belt scored a run in the fourth inning after Brandon Crawford‘s bunt attempt that threw away for an error, making it 2-1. Three batters later, Marco Scutaro hit a bases-loaded-RBI-single to Matt Holliday who booted the ball, causing all three runs to score and making it 5-1.
— Ryan Vogelsong became the first pitcher to make it to the sixth inning this postseason for the Giants. He gave up one earned run on four hits over seven innings.
— The Giants extended their leave to 7-1 in the eighth inning when ex-Cardinal Ryan Theriot hit a two-run single off Shelby Miller, who was fantastic in the seventh but struggled a bit with his control in the eighth. It was Miller’s first postseason appearance.
THE DEFENSE: This is something I’ve been complaining about all season long. I’m not saying it’s the most important aspect of a winning ball club but it has been something that has consistently come back to bite them. There is no way three runs should have scored on that ball to Holliday. Perhaps karma for a potentially ‘dirty’ slide from the first inning? David Freese also missed a ball in the eighth that, while a difficult play, was a play that he just looked awful on, not even coming close to the ball.
Having said that, I’m obviously not referring to Jon Jay, who made another outstanding play tonight, though the double play was missed by the umpire. I hate to say it, because I’ve never been that adamant of a supporter of it, but I think it’s time for instant replay. In any case, if this team has had any weakness all season, it’s defense, and it was extremely apparent tonight.
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: I’m not going to say the Cardinals should have won this game, as they were outplayed in every aspect. But again, the team went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. This is another problem that seems to show up time and time again, and it’s something they have to figure out how to do quickly if they plan on making another World Series run.
What’s Next: The 2012 NLCS takes a stop in St. Louis as the Cardinals will take on the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon for game three of this best-of-seven series. Matt Cain will oppose Kyle Lohse at 3:00 PM CST first pitch that can be seen on Fox. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. Go Cards.