“This is why baseball is the greatest sport” One of my friends announced this as if he had made some great discovery of some kind. He said this the other day after the Giants came back from their 2-0 deficit to beat the Reds. There aren’t many sports that you can feel safe the whole game; Somehow even with the lead you feel like hurling after every pitch until that final out. It’s because baseball is one of the few sports with no time limit. You aren’t constricted by the clock, you have 27 outs to work with and that’s it. Baseball for all the talk about how boring it is gave us a great first round with three of the four teams celebrating their game 5 victories on the road. You can never feel safe in baseball and that’s why every pitch and every at bat are crucial to each game. So maybe my friend is right – it IS the greatest sport because not one thing should be considered meaningless. Or maybe I’m just living a little too much in the present but having said that lets get to the NLCS Playoff Preview. I’ll be judging each team by their Pitching, Hitting, Managers and Chemistry
The Giants pitching staff is elite. You heard me right! Cain/Bumgarner tandem alone makes them a top of the line rotation, but even Vogelsong and Lincecum have both been showing signs of turning their seasons back around. The Cardinals rotation isn’t too shabby as well, but they’re not the rotation of Carpenter and Wainwright in their primes anymore. Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse were the team’s horses this year. They haven’t had much playoff experience as one of them was in the bullpen in last year’s playoffs. That lack of experience helps give the Giants a rotation edge.
What it may come down to though is the bullpens, as the Giants lost their closer early for the season and have been playing around with the bullpen the whole year. The Cards have a set bullpen and two flamethrowers both hitting 100 mph pitch after pitch.
Even with a shaky middle relief the Giants playoff experienced-pitching staff and unorthodox closer (no not Wilson) are enough to get the edge over the Cards
Won’t waste space, but shout out to Posey the MVP….MVP……MVP
Deeper lineup with way more power. No need for analysis when the Giants let the Reds look like Henry Rowengartner tearing up the offense for most of the series.
I commend Matheny for the job he’s done this year with a team that had just lost its superstar and being a first year manager. He has a great career ahead of him, but Bruce Bochy is the best manager when it comes to in-game tactics!
Bochy has too much experience and such a great handle of his bullpen that if the series came down to a decisive situation you’re trusting Bruce over the newcomer.
A thing that most won’t believe is relevant to the game of baseball, but obviously if you watched either series when a team clicks they pick each other up and keep fighting. That’s what you do when every member of the team fights to push their squads to a Championship.
Both teams have a ridiculous chemistry which I can’t give either an advantage over the other. Both teams aren’t done until that last out! It’s almost as if both teams prefer going into a game down and with the “nobody believes in us” mantra just to prove everyone wrong.
Both the Giants and the Cardinals are coming off two gigantic series wins and it could be a 7 game series waiting to happen. These are the last two NL Champs, but the squads are much different teams from their past World Series years.
Once you get to the playoffs what we’ve seen over time is that pitching will win you playoff games. The Giants have the pitching rotation and the manager to utilize every arm in his bullpen to beat the Cardinals. In the playoffs it’s all about timely hitting as displayed by the Giants first round win beating the Reds despite hitting only .198 for the series. The Giants will be in every game and have just enough offense to win the series.
Giants over Cardinals in 6
About the Author
Written by Josh Sennett
I'm 22 years old and a sports fanatic from the Bay Area. I follow the MLB, NBA, and NFL closely.I'm a huge homer and root for all the Bay Area squads except for the Raiders!!! I just recently graduated from the University of Arizona and during my time there worked for our sports program. I enjoy when people challenge my sports knowledge because I'm a sports genius (at least in my head anyway). Lets talk sports! On a side note I'm a huge pop culture guy who might have to drop some music and TV updates if I think people need to be educated on the latest and greatest of entertainment!