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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts Heading into Game 4

Right now, it's easy to panic. After the offense disappeared yesterday and couldn't support a strong outing from Matt Cain, it's logical to feel like the Giants are living on borrowed time.

But try to look at this series a different way. All the Giants have to do is win one of the three games in St. Louis. Yes, they'll be down 3-2 and the momentum will be with the Cardinals, but it definitely wouldn't mean the series was all but over.

If the Giants manage to win one of the next two games, they'll head home with their two best pitchers of this postseason ready to go on full rest: Ryan Vogelsong and Cain. They'll be playing at home, in front of a full house of their own loud fans; no, they haven't played their best ball at home so far this postseason, but it's always better to face must-win games in a familiar setting. They've responded to having their backs against the wall already, and it's not hard to imagine they'd be able to do the same thing again in this series.

In a perfect world, the Giants would win the next two games and come home with a chance to close out the Cardinals in Game 6. Aside from a Kevin Costner movie, though, there's no such thing as a perfect world and the Cardinals are a tough team to beat in their own ballpark. So the onus falls on the Giants to do the bare minimum: win one game. Get a strong performance from Tim Lincecum or Barry Zito, trust that the middle of the order will turn things around, and get out of St. Louis still alive, heading to their own ballpark, with their two strongest pitchers lined up to clinch the series for them.

The Giants' entire season boils down to one question: can they win one out of three in St. Louis?

I'm betting they can.