By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA – It was a must win for the Giants. Their ace pitcher Ryan Vogelsong delivered an outstanding performance game two of the NLCS series. But tonight, he was even better, he pitched a career-high nine strikeouts and lead his team to victory.
San Francisco tied the series with a 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The offense soared for a second consecutive game and now has a chance to return to the World Series after winning it back in 2010.
“We know what’s at stake,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And now to get this point, being down 3-1. You go out there and play like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve had our backs to the wall, both teams have, and you’re seeing a great series, here.”
The Giants scored their first run in the first frame after Chris Carpenter walked Marco Scutaro and yielded a double to Pablo Sandoval. With two on at third and second base, Buster Posey grounded to third baseman David Freese who threw to first for the out and Scutaro scored.
Freese hesitated about throwing for the out at home and that decision gave San Francisco the momentum they needed in the second inning. Brandon Belt lead off the inning with a triple. An error on the shortstop Pete Kozma brought in another run.
Marco who has been simply amazing in the playoffs, hit a two-run double to extend their lead 4-0. But they weren’t done yet, Sandoval’s RBI single to center field added another run. A total of four runs in the frame, three were unearned.
“There is no tomorrow for us,” Marco said. “Hopefully, we can come back tomorrow and score some runs early for Cain so he will start doing his stuff, referring to [pitchers Barry Zito and Vogelsong].”
The Cardinals got their first hit of the night when Daniel Descalso knocked one up the middle in the fifth. Kozma followed with a single to left field and Skip Schumaker grounded out to first baseman Belt to end the inning. Vogelsong got around his first and only jam of the night.
“He [Ryan V.] did everything he wanted to do to us,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ve had trouble with him and he’s made great pitches against us, and we’ve made very little adjustments. He’s not making that many mistakes, so that’s a tough combination for us.”
For 4 2/3 innings, Ryan allowed no batters on base. Game two of the series Vogelsong said that was his best game but 27 outs away from returning to the World Series might be even better. Tonight, he pitched a strong, brilliant game and forced a game 7.
“There was no plan going in,” Ryan said. “I just threw what Buster [Posey] was putting down. I saw how our team reacted the other night when Barry [Zito] came out and kind of took the bull by it’s horns early and was throwing up zeros. I just knew I had to go out there and keep them off the board early and give us a chance to do something offensively.”
San Francisco will play tomorrow behind Matt Cain. Either way one team will move on to play in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. The Giants are hoping it’s them, the pressure is on but just like in years past, San Francisco does it’s best when their backs are against the wall.