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Cardinals vs. Giants 2014 NLCS Game 2: Cards win nail-biter, viva el lefties

The left handed bats of Carpenter, Taveras, Adams, and Wong power the Cardinals past the Giants 5-4 to even the series at one game a piece.

me too, Kolten. me too.
me too, Kolten. me too.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

pre-game

Today's Lineups

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Gregor Blanco - CF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Joe Panik - 2B Jon Jay - CF
Buster Posey - C Matt Holliday - LF
Pablo Sandoval - 3B Matt Adams - 1B
Hunter Pence - RF Jhonny Peralta - SS
Brandon Belt - 1B Yadier Molina - C
Brandon Crawford - SS Kolten Wong - 2B
Travis Ishikawa - LF Randal Grichuk - RF
Jake Peavy - RHP Lance Lynn - RHP

Randal Grichuk gets the start against a righty over Peter Bourjos and Oscar Taveras. Everyone is angry.

game

I am going to cut to the chase here.

I was angry.

I was angry that Adam Wainwright has pitched 5,139 innings in the past three years and his arm is tired.

I was angry that the Giant's blooped and broken bat flares seem to go for singles.

I was angry that Randal Grichuk is constantly starting against righties even though everyone in the continental United States and some people in Guam, save the personnel that actual get to make the decisions, know that he is not the best option out there at this juncture in his young, promising career.

I was angry that Matheny keeps bunting with positions players (although in light of Molina's injury, maybe that gets a small pass).

I was angry that Molina strained his oblique just when the Cardinals need those obliques the most.

I was angry that the Cardinals seemed to blow this game (but not at Trevor Rosenthal - he is a peach).

When the Giants took the lead in the top of the seventh all of the anger boiled over into one festering boil of hate and wrath. I was not bitter. I was mad as hell.

But then the Cardinals hit dingers and made it all better.

And now as I sit back and reflect on the ending - Matt Adams hitting the go-ahead homer in the eighth and Kolten Wong hitting a bomb to walk off - I can feel my blood cool from bubbling lava to a reasonable 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The scoreboard tonight is not binary, although it would appear to be with each team failing to put up the ever-prized "crooked number". The Cardinals struck first in the third when re-born power hitter Matt Carpenter sent a bomb to left field. Then some folks were annoyed that Carpenter came out for a curtain call at the request of the excited and frenzied crowd. Sorry.* The Cards added on another in the fourth after the beloved Randal Grichuk lined a single to left with the bases loaded. The fifth, sixth , and seventh innings belonged to the Giants when Jaquin Arias plated a run on a ground out and Hunter Pence singled in Pablo Sandoval. Gregor Blanco singled on a ground ball to right to score Brandon Crawford during the before-mentioned rage-inducing seventh inning that included a leadoff walk, an infield single, a broken-bat single, and a RBI seventeen hopper.

But then, the bottom of the seventh. Oscar Taveras was sent in to pinch hit. And hit he did, powering a Jean Machi change-up (I think) into the right field bleachers, metaphorically giving Mike Matheny the middle finger as he triumphantly trotted around the bases, tying the game up three to three. Matt Adams hit the go-ahead bomb in the eighth, but that jubilation was cut short by a cluster-you-know-what in the ninth. A few ground ball base hits, a walk, and various other frustrating things led to a Seth Maness appearance with Pablo Sandoval at the dish. Maness cleaned up Rosenthal's mess in no time, and we all sang his praises as the greatest of all time, as we should.

Then Kolten Wong hit a dinger and won the game. The end.

*I'm not sorry.

post-game

LIL SCOOTER'S PLAYER OF THE GAME:

This normally goes to the player with the highest WPA, but you know what? Forget it. I am giving it to all the lefties, even Daniel Descalso. Mostly though, Kolten Wong, whose walk-off homer put his WPA at .319 on the night, to lead all players, Matt Adams, whose go-ahead homer in the eighth gave him a hefty WPA of .311, good for second, and OSCAR F. TAVERAS, whose game-tying homer in the seventh gave him a respectable .256 WPA. Matt Carpenter also hit a homer, but with much lower leverage, putting his WPA a .040.


Source: FanGraphs

TWEET OF THE GAME:

With the win, the Cardinals tie the series up as it moves to the west coast, and ensures that there will be a game five. Tomorrow is an off day, but the series reconviegns Tuesday at 3:07pm CST. John Lackey takes on Tim Hudson in a crucial game that could give either team a 2-1 series advantage.