It's cards close to their chest time says Federico Farcomeni as St Louis rely on their insiders...
When previewing Game-1 of this series, we had underestimated a factor that could prove decisive even in Game-2.
We thought that it was home comfort for the Giants who are now 0-3 in the post-season at home. The point is there is two guys from the visiting team that feel at home all the same in San Francisco. One is the Cardinals' manager, Mike Matheny. He's 42 and at his first experience in the job, but he has retired with the Giants no less than six years ago. The other one is Daniel Descalso, who normally spends his off-season in the Marina neighbourhood in SF. They both know a lot about the franchise and this could work out in their favour.
Statistically, the Cardinals are 8-3 away from home in their last two years, while the Giants haven't led in one of the 27 innings played at home in the post-season, and also have allowed their opponents to score first in all three defeats this month. Lately, this could be also due to Giants first coach Roberto Kelly missing out through injury to the back of his head - certainly there is less guidance in a key area of the field. The bullpens were both great last night with 11 relieving pitchers allowing just two hits over the final 5 1/3 innings, but Cards' Chris Carpenter (who is 10-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts in the post-season) and Giants' Ryan Vogelsong (who has a 2.86 ERA at home) are starting tonight and this should make things tighter at the beginning. Finally, Vogelsong's team-mates in the batting order are finding it harder instead, with a 0.165 average.