Giants vs. Cardinals: What to watch for

Season series: Giants won 4-3

PROJECTED LINEUP

GIANTS

– CF Gregor Blanco (.260, 5 HRs, 38 RBIs)

– 2B Joe Panik (.305, 1, 18)

– C Buster Posey (.311, 22, 89)

– 3B Pablo Sandoval (.279, 16, 73)

– RF Hunter Pence (.277, 20, 74)

– 1B Brandon Belt (.243, 12, 27)

– LF Michael Morse (.279, 16, 61)

– SS Brandon Crawford (.246, 10, 69)

CARDINALS

– 3B Matt Carpenter (.272, 8, 59)

– CF Jon Jay (.303, 3, 46)

– LF Matt Holliday (.272, 20, 90)

– 1B Matt Adams (.288, 15, 68)

– C Yadier Molina (.282, 7, 38)

– 2B Kolten Wong (.249, 12, 41, 20 SBs)

– RF Randal Grichuk (.245, 3, 8) or Oscar Taveras (.239, 3, 22)

PROJECTED ROTATION

GIANTS

– LH Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA)

– RH Jake Peavy (7-13, 3.73)

– RH Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57)

– RH Ryan Vogelsong (8-13, 4.00)

CARDINALS

– RH Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38)

– RH Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74)

– RH John Lackey (14-10, 3.82)

– RH Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

– Time warp: Working on 10 days' rest, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright threw up a dud in the NL Division Series opener when he was tagged for six runs and 11 hits in 4¹/³ innings at Dodger Stadium. He lost twice to the Giants during the season, including his shakiest outing of the year in May when he was rocked for seven runs in 4¹/³ innings.

– Leadoff loss: The Giants miss Angel Pagan's bat at the top of the lineup. He batted .304 from the leadoff spot this season, fifth-highest in the majors. Gregor Blanco has struggled in his place, going 2-for-22 in the playoffs and batting just .213 from the No. 1 spot in the regular season, the second-lowest mark in the big leagues.

– Power surge: After totaling a paltry 105 homers this season, second-fewest in the majors ahead of only Kansas City, the Cardinals finally flexed their muscles in the NL Division Series. They belted seven homers in four games. Matt Carpenter, who had eight homers in the regular season, joined Albert Pujols (2004) as the only Cardinals players to homer in three consecutive postseason games.

– Potent “Panda”: Pablo Sandoval has keyed San Francisco's postseason success during the past two trips, even after having his 14-game postseason hitting streak snapped in the clincher vs. the Washington Nationals. “Kung Fu Panda” is batting .368 with six homers and 14 RBIs in his last 18 postseason games.

– Late-night lightning: The Cardinals scored eight runs in the seventh inning to stun Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS opener and totaled one hit before their rally in the seventh during the Game 4 clincher. In the 2011 World Series, they were down to their last strike before beating Texas in Game 6, and in the 2012 playoffs they shocked Washington late before falling short against the Giants.

– Vogelstrong: Ryan Vogelsong started the Giants' clincher in the NL Division Series, allowing one run in 5 2-3 innings. That made him the only pitcher in major-league history to yield no more than one run in his first five postseason starts. Curt Schilling is the only pitcher to have a longer streak at any point in his career, going six straight postseason starts allowing one run or less from 1993-2001.

MLBSan Francisco Giants

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Second grader Genesis Ulloa leads students in an after-school community hub in a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF parents face school year with hope, trepidation and concern

‘Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it’

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Most Read