Slugger Carlos Beltran has been dominant in the postseason. Image courtesy of espn.go.com
Oh, how the San Francisco Giants must wish they still had Carlos Beltran patrolling right field at AT&T Park. Instead, he leads the highly potent St Louis offence, and showed Giants fans what they’re missing out on when he smoked Madison Bumgarner for a two-run homer over the left field wall in game one of the National League Championship Series on Monday. It proved to be the difference as the Cardinals went one-up in the series with a 6-4 victory, in what was the Giants’ third straight postseason loss at home.
It should have come as no surprise, though. Before the series started, Beltran was hitting .375 with 13 homers in the postseason. On top of that, against San Fran’s four likely starting pitches in this series, he hits .413. The man on the mound against him on Tuesday is Ryan Vogelsong, who no-hit Cincinnati in the final four innings of his start in game three in the National League Division Series. He threw seven innings for just three hits in his last start against the Cardinals, a 15-0 drubbing in early August. Beltran is 4 of 11 in his career against Vogelsong, with a home run and two doubles.
The last thing the Giants want is to get in a slugfest with the Cards. San Francisco averaged just 3.8 runs per game at home at AT&T Park this season, and cleared the fence on just 31 occasions. This is against a St Louis team which averaged 4.72 runs per game across the regular season, and outscored the Nationals 32-16 in their NLDS match-up.
Chris Carpenter gets the start for the Cardinals after being out of action for almost the entire regular season due to a nerve issue which was causing numbness up his right side. He was 0-2 coming in to the playoffs but threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his team’s 8-0 dismissal of the Nationals in game three of their series. He has a 4-1 lifetime record against the Giants.
Neither Carpenter or Vogelsong received the victory in their division series starts, but their teams won both of those games on the road.
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