Cardinals gun Kyle Lohse will start in game three. Image courtesy sportsnet.ca/John Bazemore/AP
A pair of 16-game winners will be on the mound on Thursday morning (AEST) as the National League Championship Series moves to Missouri where the hometown St Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants face off to break the current one-all deadlock.
There is plenty of spice heading in to game three after Matt Holliday’s errant slide took out Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro in the first inning of San Fran’s 7-1 win in game two. Despite a strained hip, Scutaro is expected to play after X-rays confirmed there was only minor damage.
Cards right-armer Kyle Lohse didn’t face the Giants’ line-up at all this season, but he’s 3-2 across his career against San Francisco. The more pertinent statistic, though, is his 8-1 record at home in 2012 with an ERA of just 2.33. St Louis manager Mike Matheny would love to see Lohse work deep in to the game, as his bullpen has been overworked of late; the Cardinals have gone three straight without a starter getting an out in the fifth inning.
Giants ace Matt Cain has found the post-season a different kettle of fish to the regular season. Against the Reds he split his two starts, losing game one before coming back to get the ‘W’ in game five. He hasn’t performed well against the Cards’ bats this season with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 6.94 in two starts. He’s 0-2 at Busch Stadium with an 8.27 ERA, which doesn’t augur well for game three.
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