Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you were wondering where the juice
was going to come from in the National League Championship Series, you got it
in San Francisco's Game 2 win on Monday.
With one out and runners on first and second in the first inning, St. Louis'
Allen Craig slapped a grounder to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who threw to
second for the force-out.
While Marco Scutaro was trying to turn the double play, Matt Holliday barreled
into the second baseman's left leg, which got pinned underneath Holliday.
Scutaro lay on the ground for a few moments to collect himself.
"He was definitely in pain," Giants outfielder Angel Pagan said. "But he's a
Technically it was a legal play. But it was way late, and because of that, it
may have changed the landscape of the series, as it woke up a dormant San
Francisco crowd and fired up a Giants team that wanted no part of going back
to St. Louis down 2-0.
"When you see one of your guys go down," Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said,
"you just kind of go, 'Let's go. Let's put it on the board.'"
Scutaro then showed just how tough he is, as he stayed in the game and
collected a couple of hits, including a two-run single, as part of a four-run
fourth inning before finally exiting the contest after the fifth to have X-
rays on his hip.
The damage had been done by that point, though, and the Giants rolled to a 7-1
"He showed how tough he is, and I really think they got away with an illegal
slide there," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "(Holliday) didn't hit
dirt until he was past the bag. Marco was behind the bag and got smoked. It's
a shame somebody got hurt because of this. And that's more of a roadblock."
Holliday, who was booed lustily the rest of the night, also misplayed
Scutaro's big hit in the fourth. After the game, though, he defended his
"He was right on the base," recalled Holliday, "and I just tried to slide into
him to make sure he couldn't turn the double play. In hindsight, I wish I
would have started my slide a step earlier. But it's happening fast, and
you're trying to get to his lower half so that he can't turn the double play."
Of course, the Giants are already a little sensitive when it comes to
questionable slides after they lost catcher Buster Posey for the season last
year with a broken leg following a home plate collision with Florida's Scott
This Giants team has gained some attention for its pregame scrums which
resemble a football team. Pence is the ringleader of it and his "look into
each other's eyes" speech has become the team's rallying cry.
What do you think his pregame speech will center on Wednesday?
The series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Wednesday and will pit Giants ace
Matt Cain against the Cardinals' Kyle Lohse.
Cain, who on television Monday said that Holliday's slide was over the line,
will be starting on five days' rest after getting the win in San Francisco's
Game 5 NLDS win over the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday. He was 1-1 in that
series despite a 5.06 ERA.
The 28-year-old right-hander, who was 8-2 in 17 road starts this season, was
16-5 during the year with a 2.79 ERA. He was just 1-1 in two starts versus the
Cardinals, but surrendered nine runs in 11 2/3 innings of those outings.
St. Louis, meanwhile, will rely on Lohse, who was the Cardinals' most
consistent starter this season, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA.
"He's been incredible at making pitches, from Day 1 in Miami, Opening Day,
right up until his last start," Matheny said. "That just takes a great deal of
physical skill and just mental toughness to stay as locked in as he's been."
Lohse has faced the Giants five times and is 3-2 with a 3.78 ERA against them.
The Sports Network