There are few of items of note that I’d like to bring to your attention prior to Game Six of the 2012 Naitonal League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants:

1) Matt Holliday was a last minute scratch from tonight’s game due to back stiffness. The very effective Matt Carpenter takes his place. The man who filled in so admirably for Carlos Beltran when he went down to a knee injury, will play first base tonight, and push Allen Craig into left field. Craig has only played 265 and two thirds innings at left in his Major League career, and AT&T Park isn’t exactly the friendliest of places for corner outfielders.

2) Both Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner will be available out of the bullpen tonight, meaning that with the season on the line for the Giants, Ryan Vogelsong will likely have a short leash, no matter how good his Game Two start was.

3) There’s an 80% chance of rain tomorrow, and Jayson Stark of ESPN quoted an MLB source as saying that, if necessary, Game Seven will be played on Monday night “unless there’s a hurricane.” If the weather truly does prove too terrible tomorrow, the deciding game of the NLCS will be played on Wednesday afternoon.

4) If you haven’t Vogelsong’d your Twitter handle, why even bother watching tonight’s game at all?


6) Finally, first pitch is scheduled for 4:37 PM local time from AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Here are the starting lineups:

St. Louis Cardinals
1. Jon Jay (L) CF
2. Matt Carpenter (L) 1B
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
4. Allen Craig (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. David Freese (R) 3B
7. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
8. Pete Kozma (R) SS
9. Chris Carpenter (R) P

San Francisco Giants
1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
7. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
9. Ryan Vogelson (R) P

Here are the starting pitcher repertoires for the 2012 season:

RHP Chris Carpenter (via Brooks Baseball):

Throughout Carpenter’s career, he’s shown a willingness to pitch a lot of cutters to right-handed batters. However, in Game Two, Carpenter relied heavily on his sinker in a variety of situations. This wasn’t a good thing, as Giants batters took advantage and chased him from the game in the fourth inning.

RHP Ryan Vogelsong (via Brooks Baseball):

Ryan Vogelsong’s “pitching backwards” has been discussed ad naseum, but it was interesting to see that armed with a 94 miles per hour fastball through the first few innings of Game Two, the right-hander played the part of the more typical pitcher. He established fastball with opposing hitters early and then adapted as the game went on. It was a successful approach, and one that we could see again if his fastball is humming at the same velocity tonight.