Breaking Down Tonight’s Game Seven

game7

by Tommy Gimler

Unlike most men, baseball doesn’t kill my erection. It induces one. And if there is a Game 7 involved, unless she’s holding a poster of Rosie O’Donnell scissoring Kathy Bates, let’s just say my wife should be ready when she gets home from work tonight…

Here are eight things to keep in mind before you put your grandma’s Social Security check on the line tonight:

1) Matt Cain struggles against the Cardinals much like a fat kid climbing stairs.

In two regular season meetings this year, the Cardinals roughed him up to the tune of a .333 average, 16 hits, 3 walks, and 9 ER in just 11 2/3 innings. He faired a little bit better in Game 3 of this NLCS, but still took the loss after giving up 3 runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Matt Carpenter is hitting .833, Jon Jay .625, and Carlos Beltran .368 against Cain.

But…

The good news for Giants fans is that Cain did win the regular season game against the Cards at home, and his home ERA is over a run-and-a-half better at AT&T Park than on the road (2.03 vs. 3.56). And while lefties this season are hitting a respectable .257 against him, righties have faired about as well as Kirstie Alley staying under 200 pounds (.191 average).

2) Kyle Lohse yielded just one run in Game 3, but also seven hits and five walks.

And before this year, Lohse had been awful in 4 postseason starts, posting an 0-3 record along with a 7.13 ERA and 5 HR allowed in just 17 2/3 innings of work. On the road this year, opponents are hitting 25 points higher against Lohse (.251), and his ERA is over a run higher away from Busch Stadium (3.41 vs. 2.33). On top of that, some of the Giants hitters have faired pretty well against Lohse in their careers. Angel Pagan is hitting .500, Ryan Theriot .545, and Hunter Pence .295 against him.

But…

This year has been a different story. Lohse has won two of his three postseason starts and has only given up 4 ER in over 18 innings. Also, the last time Lohse faced the Giants at AT&T Park in April of last year, he dominated them like a Russian in a Winter Olympics sport that nobody gives a shit about. He pitched eight innings of one-run baseball, giving up just five hits while striking out five.

3) The Giants have won five consecutive games this postseason when facing elimination.

Only two other teams have won at least five games in a row when staring down elimination in the same postseason, and both of them went on to win the World Series. The 1981 Dodgers won six in a row, and the 1985 Royals won five in a row before taking down the Cardinals in the Series.

But…

The last team to win an NLCS Game 7 was the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. They were on the road then as well, defeating Carlos Beltran and the New York Mets 3-1 at Shea Stadium. Plus, the Cardinals have won their last three Game 7′s, and eleven in the organization’s history. The Giants are 0-3 in Game 7′s.

4) The Cardinals’ defense is fucking terrible, like Ice-T acting in anything terrible.

They have been responsible for 10 unearned runs in the series, an NLCS record.

But…

There is no “but” here. They need to knock that shit off if they are going to advance to the World Series.

5) Marco Scutaro speaks English about as well as Taylor Swift can sing harmony.

But he is hotter than Swift going down on Carrie Underwood on the steps of the Grand Ole Opry right now. Scutaro currently owns a nine-game postseason hitting streak, and he has managed at least two hits in five of his last six games. In fact, he was 2 for 3 in Game 3 against Lohse. He is also scoring 42% of the time he reaches base in the series.

But…

Outside of his Game 3 success, Scutaro is just 3 for 15 (.200) against Lohse in his career.

6) The Giants are 5-1 this postseason when scoring first.

But…

Their lone loss came in Game 3 against Kyle Lohse.

7) During the regular season, the Giants were 15 games over .500 at home.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, were 5 games under on the road.

But…

In the postseason, the Giants are 2-3 at AT&T Park while the Cardinals are 4-3 on the road.

8) Since 1982, the home team is 18-5 in all Game 7′s.

But…

All five losses have come in a Championship Series.

However…

The home team has won six of the last nine Championship Series’ Game 7′s.

The DUD’s Prediciton

I don’t think either starter figures in tonight’s decision as they are calling for rain all night in the Bay Area, and odds are you could see Lincecum and Wainwright replace Cain and Lohse if there is a lengthy delay. If that’s the case, San Francisco has a better bullpen and a better defense to prevail in a tight ball game. On top of that, nobody can stop Marco Scutaro right now. The Giants will bust it open when Matt Holliday (and his 85-year-old back) misplays a Scutaro base hit in the fourth inning.

Believe it or not, the Cardinals have lost three series when taking a 3-1 advantage in a best-of-seven series, the most in MLB history, and you can mark it 4, dude, after tonight’s game.

Giants 5, Cardinals 2

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