by Michael Duca
ST.LOUIS–The San Francisco Giants batting practice was scratched due to rain on Thursday but the St.Louis Cardinals were able to get in a little work later in the afternoon. The two teams had a round of batting on Friday and given their druthers both of these teams would prefer having continue to play without the three day break. However they’ll get a better playoff series because of this layoff it’s going to turn on pitching.
This way the pitching staffs including the bullpens are all well rested, last week’s 18 inning game from the Division Series is not going to be any trouble for the Giants on Saturday. The Giants and Cards have the rotation set up just the way the managers like them with Madison Bumgarner (1-1) ERA 1.13 for the Giants and Adam Wainwright (0-0) ERA 12.46 for the Cards in game one.
You have to look at this first game and say that there are some pitchers that perform well in the regular season and some pitchers perform well in the post season and a few pitchers that perfrom well in both places. The Dodgers Clayton Kershaw outdueled Bumgarner in the regular season but in the post season Bumgarner has been the best lefthander in the National League.
Then there’s Giant pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (0-0) ERA 1.59 who has been pedestrian during the season but he just seemed to come up enormously big during the post season. As far as Cardinals game one starter Wainwright is concerned the Cards are not going to win without him and they may not win with him. He has had tendinitis and if Wainwright goes down with an injury it’s not one that’s going to keep him out of next season. You might as well use Wainwright and see what happens if he doesn’t make it then it won’t make any difference because you weren’t going to get to the next round anyway.
The Giants have left handed hitters on their roster that they could go to Gregor Blanco, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford and with these hitters you can’t rely on any mistakes by Cardinal pitching and you also have to remember the Washington Nats the Giants last opponents were not ones that made too many mistakes in a number of those one run games in the NLDS.
Who knows whats going to happen, the playoffs are so unpredictable for example the Giants went out and grabbed the last spot in Pittsburgh beating the Pirates 8-0 in the Wild Card game and if they lose that one it was pack your bags. Then the Giants advanced and beat Washington in five games and beat them in the first two games in Washington.
Jauquin Andujar the former A’s pitcher said it best when it come to this game, “you never know” and how big will it be for the Giants to have a split or a two game lead coming back to San Francisco for game three on Tuesday afternoon. The Giants would be thrilled to come back with a split but also they would love to come back with a two game lead.
If you come home 2-0 in the best of seven series the odds are almost prohibitive that your going to win the series the numbers get up in the 75 percent range. If the Giants can come back with a split they can have home field advantage. It’s a question or not if you take advantage of that home field advantage.
Michael Duca is doing SF Giants post season commentary for http://www.sportsradioservice.com to hear the rest of the interview please scroll down and click on sound cloud
photo courtesy of: KRON 4 News San Francisco