Much will be made about the quick start for the Cardinals bats in Game 1 of the NLCS in San Francisco, but the work of the bullpen over the final 5.1 innings was the difference in the Cardinals 6-4 win over the Giants.
AUDIO Mike Matheny postgame comments (4:00)
Boosted with a six run lead, starter Lance Lynn could not get through the bottom of the fourth inning as the Giants rallied to score four runs, all with two outs. Brandon Belt picked up an RBI single and he along with Hunter Pence scored on Gregor Blanco’s triple. Brandon Crawford doubled, and after a walk to Aubrey Huff put runners on first and second, Lynn’s night was over.
Joe Kelly came on in relief of Lynn and got some defensive help from Daniel Descalso who made a diving stop at second base to get a force out and end the rally. Kelly gave up a leadoff single to start the fifth and after walking Buster Posey, lefty Mark Rzepczynki got lefty Belt to fly out to center stranding two runners and keeping the score at 6-4.
The Giants would get just one more hit over the final four innings and that came with two outs in the ninth when Angel Pagan singled off Jason Motte. Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Motte combined for four innings, one hit, four strikeouts and no walks. Mujica got credit for the win, pitching in the seventh.
San Francisco’s bullpen was equally as impressive. Five pitchers combined to no-hit the Cardinals over the final 5.1 innings with five strike outs and only one walk. However, the damage was done against Madison Bumgarner, who allowed six runs on eight hits including two run homers from David Freese and Carlos Beltran.
Game two is Monday night at 7 p.m. CT with Chris Carpenter facing Ryan Vogelsong. In game updates and commentary can be followed on Twitter @Missourisports