Giants take a 7-0 lead over Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS

Giants take a 7-0 lead over Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Pablo Sandoval singled and doubled in his first two plate appearances in Game 7. (Getty Images)

The Cardinals will need another miracle if they are to advance to the World Series.

St. Louis famously came back from a 6-0 deficit in Game 5 of the National League Division Series but now finds itself down 7-0 after three innings in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny went to his bullpen early in Game 7, pulling starter Kyle Lohse with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the third.

At the time, the Cardinals were trailing just 2-0, when Matheny brought in Joe Kelly to face Hunter Pence. Pence hit a broken-bat liner that fooled shortstop Pete Kozma, who went to his right, as the ball went to his left. Subsequent slow-motion replays showed the ball hit Pence's bat three times, once breaking it and twice more after it broke. The ball went into center field, allowing two runs to score and when center fielder Jon Jay failed to get the ball in quickly, another run scored.

Kozma had his hand in the next two runs as well, as Kelly reloaded the bases and Brandon Crawford hit a grounder to Kozma, who tried to force Pence at the plate, but was late. Then, with a double-play opportunity on Angel Pagan's grounder, Kozma's feed to second baseman Daniel Descalso was high and Descalso's throw to first low, allowing another run to score.

Giants starter Matt Cain wasn't particularly sharp in the early going, needing 56 pitches to get through his first three innings. The Cardinals put runners in scoring position in each of those innings, only to come up empty. The Cardinals were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in the first three innings.

The Giants scored a run in each of the first two innings, with Cain driving in one in the second.

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