SAN FRANCISCO • The Cardinals' chance to score in the first inning of Game 2 in the NLCS hinged on a play that nearly knocked out Giants' second baseman Marco Scutaro.
The Cardinals got two runners on base in the first inning against starter Ryan Vogelsong. Carlos Beltran walked and Matt Holliday singled to left field. What followed was a play that almost left a dent in this series, and will certainly leave a bruise on Scutaro's leg.
Allen Craig chopped a grounder to shortstop. Brandon Crawford flipped a throw to Scutaro at second base.
Holliday slid late and he slid hard into Scutaro. Holliday's cleats overshot the base and that allowed Holliday, and all of his huge frame, to collide with Scutaro. Holliday went into Scutaro as if blocking a field goal as much as trying to interrupt the potential double play ball.
Scutaro buckled as he made the throw. Craig was safe at first base, and Beltran was on his way to third base.
Scutaro laid on the ground for about minute. Holliday checked on him but as teammates from the Giants and the trainers raced to meet him, Holliday turned and trotted back to the base.
Scutaro remained in the game.
Beltran didn't score, so the play's result was ultimately a wash. But the Giants reaction to Holliday after that slide will be worth keeping an eye on as the game and this series progresses.