UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
MLB

Giants-Cardinals Preview

With the San Francisco Giants continuing to tame the St. Louis Cardinals' bats in the playoffs, Jake Peavy is up next and looking to put the NL Central champions in a 0-2 hole.

After Madison Bumgarner kept the Giants rolling with another gem in the NL Championship Series opener, Peavy seeks a repeat performance of his own as he tries to beat the Cardinals for the first time in the playoffs Sunday night.

San Francisco has reeled off 12 wins in 13 postseason games behind a 1.06 ERA. The club's pitchers have somehow been even better on the road, compiling a 0.74 mark while putting together a seven-game winning streak.

The Cardinals are all too familiar with that dominance since the Giants have outscored them 23-1 while allowing a .177 batting average during a four-game postseason winning streak in the rivalry dating to the 2012 NLCS.

So far, nothing has changed in this year's edition.

Bumgarner kicked things off splendidly Saturday, baffling St. Louis through 7 2-3 innings while combining with two relievers to allow just four hits in a 3-0 victory.

The Giants will now look for Peavy to extend that staggering success, though he's 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in three career postseason starts against St. Louis. The right-hander allowed two runs in four innings while not getting a decision in Boston's 5-4 loss at Busch Stadium in Game 3 of last year's World Series, and he hasn't faced them since.

"I got a lot of work ahead of me," Peavy said. "I think we have a good game plan set in place, and it's just going to come down to executing that and trying to get them to hit some balls at people."

That strategy seems to be paying off for Peavy, who is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA over his previous 10 starts after losing his first three behind a 4.82 mark following his acquisition from the Red Sox in July.

Peavy has stretched his recent dominance into the postseason, yielding two hits in 5 2-3 scoreless innings of a 3-2 win over Washington in Game 1 of the division series Oct. 3. It was his first playoff win after going 0-3 with a 9.27 ERA over his previous five.

"The more you do something the more comfortable you get in that situation," Peavy said of his postseason experience. "Up until last year, I had never really gotten an opportunity to pitch with the knowledge that I think I have now.

"I try to take all that knowledge in with me, be under control. I'll be fiery. I will be emotional, but I will be under control."

The Cardinals could use a spark to avoid falling two games back before the series shifts to San Francisco for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Giving Lance Lynn some support would be a welcome change. The right-hander has a 2.45 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 33 innings over his last five starts, but is 0-2 due to a paltry run-support average of 1.64.

He didn't receive any in Game 2 of the NLDS on Oct. 4 while he fanned eight Dodgers, allowed two runs in six innings and didn't earn a decision in a 3-2 defeat.

Lynn wasn't very effective against San Francisco in the 2012 NLCS, surrendering eight runs while being pulled with two outs in the fourth inning in both his starts.

He fell apart in the fourth of Game 5 as he attempted to start a double play with one out only to have his throw bounce off second base and into center field, leading to four unearned runs in a 5-0 loss. The Cardinals would have clinched the pennant with a win.

"I know that we had a chance to win that series and I didn't get the job done," Lynn said. "Whenever you don't get the job done, it definitely is something that you don't forget."

Promoted Stories
Comments

More MLB

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.