San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals
Deciding who will win game six of the National League Championship Series has a lot to do with how you feel Chris Carpenter will perform for the St. Louis Cardinals. Carpenter, a three-time All Star who won the Cy Young Award in 2005, has made only five starts in 2012 thanks to shoulder problems, but in the past the right-hander has been a post-season star. In 2011, he was the Cardinals’ starter in both club’s clinching game for the National League Divisional Series and the World Series. He also threw a three-hit shut-out in eight innings of work in his only start in the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. But as much as that past history shows his determination in the play-offs, his most recent start – four innings, six hits, five runs (two earned), two walks and one strikeout – might be more relevant as it was against these Giants in game one of this series.
No doubt Carpenter is a smart enough pitcher to adjust his game plan and perform better this time around, but his pitching opposition, Ryan Vogelsong, is likely to give Carpenter little margin for error. Vogelsong has been strong this post-season, yielding just one run in five innings in a National League Division Series start and a single run in seven innings in game two of this championship series. In addition, Vogelsong was strong at home (2.86 ERA) during the regular season. For what it’s worth, Carpenter has a lifetime 4.26 ERA in two starts in San Francisco. Go with the Giants – on at 1.77 – to force this series with the Cardinals (2.05) to a game seven.