Giants beat Cards 7-1 in NLCS finally win at home: Griffin
The key player of the 7-1 Game 2 victory for the Giants was obviously second baseman Marco Scutaro. The former Jays' infielder played the game in pain after Matt Holliday's take-out slide in the first inning that was borderline dirty.
I'm a big fan of flipping the second baseman or the shortstop on a double-play pivot. Players with any of the OBA teams I've coached will conform, but Scutaro took the feed on the backside of the bag, the left field side, away from first base, so Holliday had to basically make sure he cleared the bag in the air in order to initiate contact. Not good.
He did not lead with his spikes, but instead enveloped Scutaro with his body on a leaping slide and twisted him into a pretzel. Normally a player if he is making the throw from the direct baseline, specifically, on the first-base side of the base within the runner's direct base-to-base 90 feet, will expect and look to avoid contact and leap out of the way of the sliding runner as he releases the throw. Where Scutaro was making his throw, he would not have been expecting contact.
The question becomes how and when do you retaliate if you don't like the play. Scutaro solved that dilemma with the bases loaded driving a single to left centre that Holliday raced over and botched, clearing the bases. Sweet revenge.
Scutaro could only make it through five innings of defence because of his left side stiffening up. Those injuries get stiffer in the first 48 hours and with a long flight to St. Louis after the game, where he will be sitting for the better part of 3-1/2 hours, he will need a lot of treatment in the training room if he is going to play in Game 3 on Wednesday. Ryan Theriot replaced him.
Another former Blue Jay, Chris Carpenter was making his second start of the post-season, after spending most of the year on the DL. Television showed that Carpenter was pitching with reduced velocity on his fastball compared to his start against the Nats. He was only able to make it through four innings, throwing 76 pitches. His next start would be scheduled for Game 6.
Joe Buck was telling a Carpenter anecdote early in the broadcast. Apparently as part of the most recent surgery, Carp had a rib removed. The story is that Carpenter now keeps that rib in his bathroom in a jar. He also had two muscles removed from his neck. Now he's back pitching in the post-season.
Hard to believe that there was a former Jays' GM who insisted that Carpenter was soft and that offering him a guaranteed contract for the year that he was going to be rehabbing when his shoulder was first hurt would have been a waste of money. The Cards didn't think so, gave him his guaranteed money and kept him on the 40-man roster and Carp's been to three World Series in St. Louis.
As for Ryan Vogelsong, the Giants righthander may have given the rest of the rotation the secret to containing the Cards' power bats. Vogelsong worked the inside half of the plate masterfully and kept them tied up most of the night.
The Giants needed that win at home after losing three straight in this post-season. The Series continues at Busch Stadium for Games 3-4-5 and Scutaro's injury if he can't make it, will definitely hurt. If that's the case, Holliday should stay loose in the batter's box.