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Turns out the defending champion Cardinals aren't the only team that's tough to put away in October.
Vogelsong struck out a career-best nine batters in another postseason gem, and the Giants avoided elimination for a second straight game by beating St. Louis 6-1 on Sunday night.
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"It's kind of a joke in the clubhouse. About 60 percent of my games have rain in the forecast," Lohse said. "I know these guys, I've seen them for six games. I know what I need to do. ... It's time to get it done."
These wild-card Cardinals sure seem to like the all-or-nothing route in October, while San Francisco thrives playing from behind.
Five games with their year on the line, five wins for these gutsy Giants this postseason. Now, it comes down to one game for the past two World Series champions to get back, with the Detroit Tigers waiting.
Pitching to chants of "Vogey! Vogey!" from the sellout crowd of 43,070 at AT&T Park, the right-hander didn't allow a hit until Daniel Descalso's broken-bat single to center with two outs in the fifth. Vogelsong struck out the side in the first and had already fanned five through two innings.
"This place is going to be loud, I can tell you that," Vogelsong said of Monday night.
Scutaro had no chance for a collision with Matt Holliday this time. In their first game back at AT&T Park since Holliday took out the second baseman with a hard slide in Game 2, Holliday was scratched about an hour before first pitch because of tightness in his lower back, and Allen Craig replaced him in left field.
It hardly mattered the way Vogelsong pitched.
The Cardinals managed their only run on Craig's two-out single in the sixth. St. Louis had gone 15 innings without scoring after left-hander Barry Zito won 5-0 on Friday in Game 5.
"I just tried to do really the same thing he did, come out and set the tone early for us," Vogelsong said.
Vogelsong had his second stellar seven-inning outing against the Cardinals in a week, allowing four hits and one run. He walked one in a 102-pitch performance and lowered his postseason ERA -- all this year - to 1.42.
"I just believe that it's my time," Vogelsong said.
After taking a 3-1 lead back home at Busch Stadium, Mike Matheny's Cardinals will have to find some offense in a hurry if they want to get back to the World Series.
"We've got to make some adjustments but our team's done that all season," Matheny said. "One thing I know is these guys take these to heart."
These Cards might just prefer close calls. Just like last year.
They won the NL's second wild card on the second-to-last day of the regular season, then won at Atlanta to reach the division series. The Cardinals rallied from a 6-0 deficit with a four-run ninth inning to stun the Washington Nationals 9-7 in Game 5 of the division series.
The Giants got to St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter again. The Cardinals winningest postseason pitcher with 10 victories looked out of sync for the second straight start -- and he left with a nearly identical line as in his 7-1 Game 2 loss here last Monday, down to the hits, earned runs, unearned runs and innings.
Carpenter was done in by one big inning this time, too. He allowed six hits and five runs, two earned, in four innings.
Vogelsong reached on shortstop Pete Kozma's fielding error in the second, scoring Brandon Belt after he led off the inning with a triple. Scutaro came up two batters later and doubled home two more runs.
The 10 unearned runs allowed by the Cardinals are the most in an NLCS, according to STATS, LLC -- topping the nine given up by the Braves in 2001 and Dodgers in 1985.
San Francisco never faced an elimination game in 2010 on the way to winning the World Series, but has had to go the distance in each of its first two postseason series this year. They became the first team in major league history to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-five series by winning three straight on the road as they did at Cincinnati.
They have Vogelsong for this year's run.
"He was on top of his game again," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's probably been as consistent as any starter this year."
The Giants put pressure on Carpenter right away.
Scutaro drew a one-out walk and Pablo Sandoval doubled off the wall in center on a ball that eluded Jon Jay. Posey followed with a groundout to third to score Scutaro for a 1-0 lead.
Scutaro is batting .458 (11 for 24) during the NLCS.
"I don't really know, man," Scutaro said when asked to explain it. "Just excited to come to the field every day. ... Being in this opportunity, just being in the playoffs, is amazing."
While the Giants have won five straight games facing elimination this postseason, the Cardinals have won their last six dating to last year.
|Players of the Game|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Jon Jay, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Matt Carpenter, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.231|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.382|
|Allen Craig, LF||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.231|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.220|
|David Freese, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||3||0||.310|
|Daniel Descalso, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.268|
|Pete Kozma, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.257|
|Chris Carpenter, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.600|
|a- Skip Schumaker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Shelby Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Shane Robinson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Fernando Salas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edward Mujica, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Carpenter in the 5th|
|b-flied out for Miller in the 7th|
|2B - Carlos Beltran (6, Vogelsong)|
|RBI - Allen Craig (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Allen Craig (4)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Pete Kozma (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Chris Carpenter (L,1-2)||4||6||5||2||2||6||0||2.63|
|IBB - Crawford by Chris Carpenter|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 76-48, Shelby Miller 37-25, Fernando Salas 15-11, Marc Rzepczynski 13-5, Edward Mujica 3-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 4-3, Shelby Miller 1-3, Edward Mujica 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 21, Shelby Miller 7, Fernando Salas 4, Marc Rzepczynski 3, Edward Mujica 2|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Angel Pagan, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.188|
|Marco Scutaro, 2B||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||.318|
|Pablo Sandoval, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.326|
|Joaquin Arias, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.375|
|Buster Posey, C||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.171|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||0||1||0||0||3||1||.163|
|Brandon Belt, 1B||4||2||2||0||0||1||1||.194|
|Gregor Blanco, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.212|
|Brandon Crawford, SS||2||1||0||0||2||2||1||.200|
|Ryan Vogelsong, P||3||1||0||1||0||1||0||.200|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Santiago Casilla, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Theriot, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.400|
|Sergio Romo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Casilla in the 8th|
|2B - Marco Scutaro (4, Carpenter), Pablo Sandoval (3, Carpenter), Gregor Blanco (2, Carpenter)|
|3B - Brandon Belt (1, Carpenter)|
|RBI - Marco Scutaro 2 (5), Pablo Sandoval (8), Buster Posey (6), Ryan Vogelsong (1), Ryan Theriot (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Marco Scutaro 2 (4), Pablo Sandoval (1), Ryan Theriot (1)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Gregor Blanco (1, Dropped fly)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Ryan Vogelsong (W,2-0)||7||4||1||1||1||9||0||1.42|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Vogelsong 102-67, Jeremy Affeldt 10-7, Santiago Casilla 3-2, Sergio Romo 8-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Vogelsong 8-5, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0, Santiago Casilla 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ryan Vogelsong 27, Jeremy Affeldt 3, Santiago Casilla 1, Sergio Romo 3|
|Attendance - 43070|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 62|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Bill Miller|