Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 19, 2012

St. Louis one game from World Series with 8-3 win over Giants

ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright looked like an ace again and some of the St. Louis Cardinals' top hitters rediscovered their strokes.

On the verge of a repeat wild-card title shot, the defending World Series champions have picked a good time to put it all together.

"It's always nice to wake up and understand that if you win, you're moving on, especially when the World Series is at your fingertips," third baseman David Freese said after the Cardinals' 8-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the NLCS Thursday night. "Tomorrow's going to be fun either way."

The Cardinals can close it out at home Friday night in Game 5. Lance Lynn faces Giants lefty Barry Zito, and a St. Louis win would set up a 2006 World Series rematch with Detroit.

But the Cardinals realize it's not time to celebrate yet.

"We just have to keep our head down," manager Mike Matheny said. "Keep playing the game. Keep doing things right. Stay aggressive, stay within yourself, do your piece, and trust that we can pull together and do what we need to do."

The Giants are in a big hole after Wainwright threw seven innings of four-hit ball and a 12-hit attack roughed up Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco bullpen Thursday night.

Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina each drove in their first two runs of the series, and leadoff man Jon Jay also had two RBIs.

"In the postseason, the stats don't always look great," Holliday said. "A lot of times the stats, guys feel better about their swings than the stats show. Obviously, this helps with confidence."

The Giants won three straight to eliminate Cincinnati in the division series. Now they have to do it against a team that appears to have everything working.

"Every day is a new day," said Hunter Pence, who hit his first homer of the series. "The motto is to find a way to win and bring it back to San Francisco."

The Cardinals could have their top postseason bat back for Game 5. Carlos Beltran missed virtually all of Games 3 and 4 with a left knee strain, but is optimistic about playing after doing some jogging and hitting indoors Thursday.

"Right now, the plan is to come in tomorrow and do what I have to do in order to be in the lineup," said Beltran, who is batting .375 in the postseason with three homers and six RBIs. "Today was a better day for me, better than yesterday.

"Tomorrow is the day I need to go for it."

Lincecum was a bust in his first postseason start since the 2010 World Series clincher over Texas, giving up four runs in 4 2-3 innings.

"Right now, I'm obviously upset at myself," Lincecum said. "I don't want to go out there and put my bullpen in a situation where we have to use them the way we've been using them."

The two-time Cy Young Award winner with the quirky delivery earned a shot based on nearly spotless relief work earlier in the postseason, but reverted to regular-season form, when he was 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA, worst among qualifying starters in the National League.

Wainwright was rehabbing from reconstructive elbow surgery during the Cardinals' improbable title drive last fall. They earned the wild card on the final day of the season and then upset the favored Phillies, Brewers and Rangers to give manager Tony La Russa a chance to retire on top.

Under rookie manager Mike Matheny, the 88-win Cardinals were the final team to qualify this year, too. Once again, they've stepped up their game.

Wainwright bounced back from a poor outing in Game 5 of the NL division series against Washington, striking out five and walking none for his first postseason victory as a starter.

"This season has gone so fast to me, I just can't believe where we are right now," Wainwright said. "When I missed last year, in the offseason I was just like `Can we please do that again next year?'

"As painful as it was not to be able to help last year, I feel like I'm a major contributor this year, and I'm having a lot of fun."

The lone damage against Wainwright came on Pence's 451-foot homer in the second that cut the Cardinals' lead to 2-1.

Just 12 pitches in, the Cardinals had two hits, a walk and the lead, and Lincecum got a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti. Jay opened the first with a single, Matt Carpenter walked on four pitches and Holliday singled up the middle for the lead. Allen Craig tacked on a sacrifice fly.

Lincecum had retired eight in a row before getting knocked out in the fifth on a rally that started with Carpenter's double off the top of the wall in right-center with one out. The Giants had a good chance of throwing out Carpenter at the plate on Holliday's single, but shortstop Brandon Crawford's relay short-hopped catcher Hector Sanchez and Carpenter scored on a headfirst slide to make it 3-1.

Molina's RBI single with two outs chased Lincecum.

Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the ninth, but the NL West champs are on the brink of elimination.

"We have all the confidence in Barry," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We do need to get the bats going. They've been shutting us down."

Text Only
Sports
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks