Game 2 pitching matchups: Vogelsong vs. Carpenter

October 15, 2012, 7:13 pm
Share This Post

SAN FRANCISCO When the Giants needed to run the three-game table in Cincinnati, they sent the perfect, pugnacious pitcher to the mound to start their improbable task.The Giants need just as much fight from Ryan Vogelsong now.After dropping Game 1 of the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants need a win behind Vogelsong on Monday to split these first two games at home and reduce the series to a best-of-5 proposition.Vogelsong is coming off a determined start in which he held the Reds to a run in five innings, but he couldnt go deeper because of a pitch count that reached 95. Because Vogelsong has a stand-and-fight mentality, hell run deep counts to get the result he wants. The Cardinals are a feisty, deep and patient group, too. So Vogelsong will be hard pressed to work efficiently.EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong hears from an old friend before NLDS, etc.
The Giants could use length from a starting pitcher, though. The rotation, the supposed strength of the team, has recorded a grand total of two outs beyond the fifth inning in six postseason games.Vogelsong had a tremendous outing in his only start this season against the Cardinals, holding them to three hits and three walks while striking out three in seven shutout innings of a 15-0 victory on Aug. 8. The right-hander led the NL with a 2.27 ERA after that start, but then a run of rough outings took him off the leaderboard.Vogelsong doesnt have much history against most Cardinals hitters, with the exception of Carlos Beltran who is 4 for 11 with two doubles and a homer.Unlike Madison Bumgarner, who refuses to use a slide step, Vogelsong holds runners exceptionally well. They stole just 10 bases in 19 attempts against him.Vogelsong opposes Chris Carpenter, who has his own comeback story to tell. The right-hander was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series last season but didnt take the mound again until Sept. 21 because of shoulder and neck pain.After several months of rehab, Carpenter underwent an odd procedure that is growing in popularity among major league pitchers: he had a rib removed to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, in which nerve canals are compressed as they exit the trunk.Carpenter was 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA in three regular-season starts, then came up huge in his first postseason outing on Wednesday. He held the Washington Nationals to seven hits in 5 23 scoreless innings. It was the first time all season he exceeded 100 pitches, and he probably wont be allowed to throw many more than that against the Giants.STATS: St. Louis Cardinals full roster
There arent many Giants who have hit Carpenter well over his career, although Ryan Theriot is 7 for 15 against him. Hunter Pence has the most experience but is just a .182 hitter (4 for 22) with a home run and a triple.Theres a good chance the team that scores first will win. Both bullpens combined to give up just one hit over 10 23 innings in Game 1.