Giants lead Cardinals 5-1 in Game 6 of NLCS


Giants lead Cardinals 5-1 in Game 6 of NLCS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ryan Vogelsong tied a career high with eight strikeouts and the San Francisco Giants took a 5-1 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals through six innings in Game 6 of the NL championship series Sunday night.

St. Louis leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.

With the Giants trying to force a decisive Game 7 at home, Marco Scutaro hit a two-out, two-run double off Chris Carpenter to highlight San Francisco's four-run second. Buster Posey's groundout in the first scored Scutaro and gave the NL batting champion his first RBI of the series.

Vogelsong's dominant start came almost all on fastballs and commanding cutters to energize an orange towel-twirling crowd on a cool night at San Francisco's waterfront ballpark. The only baserunner he allowed was a one-out walk to Matt Carpenter in the first until Daniel Descalso's broken-bat single to center with two outs in the fifth.

Fans gave Vogelsong a standing ovation and serenaded the 35-year-old journeyman with chants of ``Vog-ey! Vog-ey!'' Pete Kozma also singled before Vogelsong got pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker to ground out to first.

Allen Craig's two-out single in the sixth drove home Carlos Beltran for the Cardinals' only run. St. Louis had gone 15 innings without scoring after lefty Barry Zito and Co. held them scoreless in Game 5.

Carpenter was replaced after allowing six hits and five runs - three unearned - in four innings. He walked two and struck out six, almost identical to his Game 2 loss in San Francisco, except he had only one strikeout in that start.

Matt Carpenter replaced Matt Holliday in St. Louis' lineup when the left fielder was scratched about 45 minutes before first pitch because of lower back tightness, the team said. Matt Carpenter started at first base and batted second, Craig shifted from first to left field and Beltran slid back a spot to third while playing right field.

With Vogelsong on the mound to pace San Francisco's scintillating start, Holliday's absence might not have mattered much.

After Scutaro drew a one-out walk in the first, Pablo Sandoval doubled over the head of Jon Jay as the center fielder got turned around fighting the sun and shadows during the twilight start. Scutaro scored on Posey's groundout to third to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

Brandon Belt tripled to right-center leading off the second. Gregor Blanco struck out swinging and Brandon Crawford was intentionally walked.

With Crawford trying to steal second on the pitch, Vogelsong chopped a ball that shortstop Pete Kozma couldn't handle as Belt scored. Scutaro doubled to left and Sandoval singled on the 10th pitch from Chris Carpenter to put the Giants ahead 5-0.

The 10 unearned runs allowed by the Cardinals were the most in NLCS history, according to STATS LLC. Two teams allowed nine.

Not exactly the start St. Louis had in mind.

The only other time the Cardinals opened a 3-1 lead in the NLCS came in 1996, when they lost to the Atlanta Braves in seven games. San Francisco, which never faced an elimination game in winning the 2010 World Series title, is 4-0 when pushed to the brink this postseason. The Giants became the first team in major league history to come back from an 0-2 deficit and win the final three games on the road when they stunned the Cincinnati Reds in the division series.

St. Louis has won its last seven games when facing elimination dating back to 2006, but the defending World Series champions were hoping to avoid another chance to extend the streak. After falling into a 3-1 hole before winning Game 5 to send the series back to San Francisco, the Giants liked their chances to do just that.

Vogelsong became the first Giants starter to last six innings this postseason when he allowed four hits over seven innings in a 7-1 victory in Game 2. Chris Carpenter had been even more reliable this time of year for the Cardinals, with his 10 postseason victories the most in franchise history.

Giants ace Matt Cain would take the mound for Game 7 in San Francisco on Monday night. Kyle Lohse, who started Game 3 opposite Cain, is likely to get the start for St. Louis.


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

It looks like the Redskins are moving on from Junior Galette.

Citing a team source, Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the team has withdrawn its contract offer to Galette, the veteran pass rusher who finally got on the field last year after missing all of his first two seasons in Washington with injuries. He is an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins may have a replacement for Galette lined up. They had former Bear Pernell McPhee in for a visit earlier this week and there was a report that they made him a contract offer after that. McPhee subsequently visited the Falcons facility, but he has not signed anywhere. However, there have been no reports that a deal is imminent as of this morning.


As for Galette, Hernandez mentions two possible destinations. One is the Browns, who have two key connections to Galette. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who signed Galette after he was cut by the Saints after the 2014 season is in the personnel department in Cleveland. In addition, Gregg Williams, who was the Saints’ defensive coordinator when Galette made the team as an undrafted rookie, currently has the same position with the Browns.

Another possibility is the Rams. The connections there are Joe Barry, the linebackers coach in LA who was Redskins’ defensive coordinator during Galette’s first two years with the team, and head coach Sean McVay, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington while Galette was on the other side of the ball.

Galette has said on social media lately that his first choice is to remain with the Redskins but that the money had to be “fair”. The interest in a return to Washington was mutual but evidently, the organization’s idea of fair and Galette’s differed by too great a margin to bridge the gap.  

Last year, Galette didn’t have an impressive sack total, getting three in a backup role. But he got plenty of pressure on the quarterback and that can be just as important as sacks.


Galette developed into a feared pass rusher with the Saints, getting double-digit sacks his last two seasons there. After signing him to a lucrative contract extension, the Saints abruptly released Galette due to some off-field issues. McCloughan and the Redskins signed him soon after the start of training camp in 2015 but before he could even play in a preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice and he was out for the year.

His much-anticipated return the following year ended before it even started. Shortly before it was time to report to training camp, he tore the other Achilles and he was on the shelf again.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.