The San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals NL Championship Series is returning to the Bay area for game six. It will be played Sunday night. The Giants kept the series and their hopes alive with a 5-0 victory Friday night in St Louis.
San Francisco got everything that it could ask for Friday. Starting pitcher Barry Zito gave them a solid 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball. This allowed the Giants bullpen to get some rest. San Francisco’s bats came to life as they knocked Cardinal starter Lance Lynn out of the box with four runs in the fourth. The Giants did the same thing to Lynn in game one.
Because of Zito’s performance, San Francisco is back home and still in contention. They will send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound Sunday night. St. Louis will counter with Chris Carpenter.
Vogelsong is 1-0 in two post season starts. He has given up only two runs. In game two of the NLCS Vogelsong held the Cardinals to one run on four hits over seven innings in a 7-1 Giants victory.
Carpenter was the losing pitcher that night. He gave up five runs on six hits in four innings. Only two of the runs were earned. Overall, Carpenter is 1-1 in the post season. He defeated the Washington Nationals in game three of the NL Divisional Series.
Before game five it seemed as if the Cardinals were on their way to the World Series. Up three games to one St. Louis figured to wrap things up either Friday or Sunday. Then the Cardinals bats went cold and the Giants came to life. The 5-0 victory not only signaled that San Francisco was not out of the series, but that they can win it.
The most dangerous teams down 3-2 in a series are those who win game five on the road. The victory allows them to exhale knowing that they have survived elimination. It also brings back the team’s confidence in that they are coming off of a win and returning home. Every team in sports likes its chances playing in front of the local fans. The Giants will feel as though they have momentum going into Sunday night.
The Cardinals have been here before and know what it takes to win. However, they know that the longer San Francisco hangs around the more dangerous they become. No team wants to go into a game seven on the road after losing two straight.
There is no use in predicting a game six. Both teams have won enough to have confidence that they can. Each is familiar with the other after playing head to head for a week.
The only thing that we can be certain of is this. The Cardinals and Giants will do whatever it takes to win Sunday night. Neither will leave anything on the field as St. Louis will be desperate to end the series and San Francisco will be fighting for their lives.