10/22/12 12:34 AM ET
Did you know? NLCS Game 6: Giants 6, Cards 1
By Mike Fiammetta and Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
The Giants' five straight victories in elimination games are one shy of the most in a single postseason. That record is held by the 1985 Royals, who overcame 3-1 deficits in both the American League Championship Series and World Series. The 1981 Dodgers are the only other team to win five consecutive elimination games in the same postseason. The Cards have won six straight postseason elimination games dating back to last season.
Since 1976, the home team has won Game 6 to force seventh game 12 times. That team has gone on to win Game 7 in 11 of those instances. The only exception came in the 2006 NLCS, when the Cardinals lost Game 6 to the Mets at Shea Stadium and won Game 7.
The Giants have never won a seven-game series in which they trailed 3-1. They are looking to become just the seventh team in Major League history to win a best-of-seven LCS after trailing 3-1. The last team to accomplish that was the 2007 Red Sox, against the Indians.
Ryan Vogelsong, who is pitching in his first postseason, improved to 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in the 2012 playoffs. Since joining San Francisco last year, he is 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four starts against St. Louis, including his two NLCS outings.
Vogelsong is the third Giants pitcher in postseason history to have three starts in a single postseason lasting at least five innings, allowing one run or less in each. The other two were Matt Cain (2010) and Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1905).
Vogelsong's nine strikeouts set a career high, breaking his previous best of eight, and was the first such performance in an NLCS since Roy Oswalt struck out nine in Game 2 of the 2010 NLCS against the Giants. Vogelsong is the first pitcher to establish his career high in strikeouts in a postseason game since the Padres' Kevin Brown struck out 16 in Game 1 of the 1998 NL Division Series against the Astros, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
This is the first time since 2006 that the NLCS has reached a seventh game. This NLCS is also the ninth to reach a Game 7 since the round was expanded to best-of-seven in 1985, and the fifth to include the Cards.
Marco Scutaro's 11 NLCS hits leaves him three shy of tying the LCS record set by Hideki Matsui (2004 ALCS), Kevin Youkilis (2007 ALCS) and Albert Pujols (2004 NLCS).
Scutaro has recorded two hits in five of the six NLCS games, the most multihit games in an LCS since Youkilis in 2007. Scutaro, who is hitting .458 (11-for-24) with four RBIs this series, is just the second player in franchise history to record at least one hit in nine consecutive games in a single postseason. Cody Ross hit in 10 straight games en route to the 2010 World Series championship.
Sunday's game was the Giants' first Game 6 played in San Francisco since Oct. 15, 1962, when they beat the Yankees, 5-2, to force a seventh game of the World Series. Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star, and Hall of Famer Whitey Ford were the pitchers of record in that game. The Yankees won Game 7, 1-0, to take the series.
Sunday marked Chris Carpenter's first back-to-back postseason losses in 18 career starts. It is his first single postseason with two losses.
The Cardinals have allowed 10 unearned runs this series, the most in NLCS history. The previous record was nine, set by the Braves in 2001 against the Diamondbacks. The California Angels' 13 unearned runs allowed against the Red Sox in the 1986 ALCS is the most for any postseason series since the statistic became official in 1913.
Statistically, Carpenter's Game 6 performance was oddly similar to his outing in Game 2. In both starts, he gave up five runs (only two earned) on six hits over four innings with two walks, while throwing 76 pitches.
After going 2-for-4 with an RBI in Game 6, San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval is batting .394 (13-for-33) with three HRs and eight RBIs in his last eight games.
Vogelsong's second-inning RBI was his first of the season. He was 5-for-54 in the regular season.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Vogelsong and Barry Zito, the Giants' Game 5 starter, are the first pair of pitching teammates to have an RBI in consecutive postseason games since Darryl Kile had an RBI in Game 1 and Mike Hampton an RBI in Game 2 of the 1997 NLDS for the Astros against the Braves.
Buster Posey's RBI groundout in the first inning was his first RBI of the NLCS. It was also his first run driven in this postseason that did not come on a home run.
Game 6 was the first in which Cards catcher Yadier Molina was held hitless.
Mike Fiammetta and Jake Kaplan are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.