Tune in at 8:07 PM ET as the Cardinals take on the Giants in Game Seven of the NLCS. Callum Hughson will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
The San Francisco Giants have made a habit of winning elimination games this year, but that's a situation the St. Louis Cardinals excel in as well.
The Giants are 5-0 while facing elimination this postseason and once again will have Matt Cain on the mound in a decisive contest Monday night when they host the Cardinals in Game 7 of the NL championship series.
San Francisco rallied to win its division series over Cincinnati after losing the first two games at home. The Giants trailed 3-1 in this series against the defending World Series champions before winning 5-0 in Game 5 on the road Friday and 6-1 in Sunday's Game 6.
The 2010 World Series champions seemingly have all the momentum now.
The Cardinals went 4-0 in elimination games in last year's postseason and are 2-0 in such contests in 2012. To keep that trend going, they'll have to revive an offense that has totaled 12 hits and 19 strikeouts in the club's back-to-back defeats.
Cain (1-2, 4.67 ERA) will try to duplicate what he did in the previous round, when he bounced back from losing his first outing to capture his second one. He yielded three runs over 5 2/3 innings to earn a 6-4 victory over the Reds in Game 5.
The right-hander gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings Wednesday in a 3-1 loss at St. Louis in Game 3. Including that outing, he's 1-2 with a 5.89 ERA in three starts against the Cardinals this year.
The St. Louis hitters that have given Cain the most trouble this year are Matt Carpenter (5 for 6, including a homer in Game 3) and Jon Jay (4 for 5).
Cain will again face fellow 16-game winner Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.96), who allowed only one run despite yielding seven hits and five walks over 5 2/3 innings Wednesday.
Lohse has been much better in the postseason than he was last year when he went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in three starts. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts at San Francisco.
There's a forecast of rain in the Bay Area during the day, but Lohse isn't surprised by that.
Lohse will try to successfully follow up what Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong have done to St. Louis the last two games. Zito pitched 7 2/3 innings in Game 5 and Vogelsong struck out nine over seven innings Sunday.
Marco Scutaro went 2 for 3 with two RBIs in Game 6. Scutaro has hit safely in nine straight playoff games and is batting .458 (11 for 24) during the NLCS.
Scutaro has helped pick up the slack with MVP candidate Buster Posey going 3 for 22 in the series and Hunter Pence 3 for 23.
It's unclear if St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday will be available after he was scratched from the lineup just before Game 6 because of lower back tightness.
Allen Craig shifted from first base to left field, with Carpenter playing first
The Giants have lost all three Game 7s in their history since moving to San Francisco, falling to Anaheim in the 2002 World Series, the Cardinals in the 1987 NLCS and the Yankees in the 1962 World Series.
The Cardinals have captured their last three Game 7s since losing to Atlanta in the 1996 NLCS. That's the only other time St. Louis led 3-1 in the NLCS.
The winner will host AL champion Detroit in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants
Matt Carpenter, who homered off Cain in Game 3 and is 5 for 6 vs Cain in his lifetime, is not in today's Cardinals lineup.
The first pitch from Matt Cain to Jon Jay is a strike and we're underway.
Jay strikes out swinging for the 1st out. Three pitches, one out. That brings up Carlos Beltran.
Beltran, swinging at the first pitch, bloops a single into shallow CF.
With one on and one out, Matt Holliday is greeting by a loud chorus of boos as he comes to the plate.
Holliday flies out to deep CF for out #2. Beltran stays at 1B. That brings up Allen Craig.
On a 2-1 count, Craig swings through the fastball... but Beltran swipes second base.
Craig lifts an infield pop-up for the third and final out.
Pagan, Scutaro and Sandoval will bat for the Giants in the bottom of the 1st.
Pagan leads off with a base hit to RF. Pagan has hit .331 vs. Cardinals pitching in his career. That brings up playoff stud Marco Scutaro. He's hitting .458 in this NLCS.
The hit-and-run is on and it is executed brilliantly. Scutaro pokes a single into RF and Pagan advances to third base. With runners on the corners and none out, Pablo Sandoval steps to the plate.
Sandoval hits a groundball to the left side of the mound. Lohse fields it and briefly thinks about throwing home, but instead gets the sure out at 1B. Scutaro scores to give the Giants a 1-0. That will bring up Buster Posey.
Posey golfs a breaking ball and grounds out to the shortstop Pete Kozma, who bobbles it but recovers in the nick of time. With a runner on 2B and two out, Hunter Pence steps to the plate.
Pence strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Molina, Freese and Descalso will lead off the 2nd inning for the Cardinals.
On a 3-2 pitch, Molina strokes a leadoff single into LF. That brings up David Freese.
Can loses Freese to the dreaded base-on-balls as his fastball misses outside. Daniel Descalso steps to the plate with two on and none out.