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After three unsuccessful attempts, the San Francisco Giants finally logged their first home victory of the 2012 postseason Monday night, handily defeating the Cardinals 7-1 in Game 2 of the NLCS to knot the series at one game apiece. The Giants evened the series by following the lead of right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who held the potent Cardinals offense to a single run over seven innings of work.
Vogelsong's seven-inning outing accomplished another first for San Francisco this postseason, as no Giants starter had made through even six innings in the six games prior to Monday night. For Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles, Vogelsong's strong performance elicited hope that the rest of the rotation may turn things around yet:
It was so comforting to see. Matt Cain looks gassed in the middle innings. Madison Bumgarner looks like he's on inning 300 for the season. Tim Lincecum is in the bullpen. Barry Zito is basically Kirk Rueter with a wild hair up his nose. Was it possible for the Giants to get through the entire postseason gauntlet without any good pitching? Of course not...
But Vogelsong acted as a one-man cavalry. That was an outing you assign in the first week of your Vogelsong appreciation course at the local junior college. And by local junior college, I mean airport bar. And by course, I mean guy listening too you because the room spins if he stands up to leave. That game had everything that makes Vogelsong good -- pitches low in the zone, a change he didn't show until the third time through the lineup, and a two-seamer that ate up right-handers...
Whatever happened, it was good. And it's giving me hope for this silly little playoff series.
Matt Cain will get the start for the Giants in Game 3 on Wednesday in St. Louis. Game time is set for 4 p.m. ET; the broadcast will be on FOX.