SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 22: San Francisco grounds crew works on the field before Game Seven of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on October 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Game 7 of the National League Championship Series will kick off at 5:07 p.m. PT on FOX. The Giants, somehow, some way, have a chance to advance to the World Series tonight. Of course, they must defeat the opponent-eating playoff zombies that are the St. Louis Cardinals first. Again. Or something.
And the Giants will need to outlast the rain as well.
For more on that, we go to our NBC Bay Area meteorologist, Christian Loren. (Well, a video of her anyway. It just felt fun to say.)
It sure does seem like we'll get a full Game 7 -- the sun is out and the tarp is off and maybe there will be rain later in day. But via Dave Brown of Yahoo! Sports comes this photo of AT&T as of 2:12 p.m. PT and, um, it looks freaking gorgeous right now.
Is that even real? Whatever, it's ridiculously beautiful. But what about the actual baseball?
Well, Matt Holliday is back in the lineup for the Cardinals and will play left field and hit third. One thing to watch: they could potentially pull some sort of double switch that involves giving Holliday one at bat and keeping Kyle Lohse from batting until possibly even the fifth inning. It would be crazy. And it would be smart. Which probably means we won't see it.
What's even more interesting about that is Holliday playing means no Matt Carpenter. Carpenter, you'll remember, replaced Carlos Beltran when the outfielder suffered an injury the last time Cain pitched in this series and promptly hit a two-run homer against the Giants ace.
Cain didn't pitch well in the regular season against the Cardinals but he did beat them at AT&T Park and is, typically speaking, much better at home. On the other hand, Kyle Lohse pitched well against the Giants in Game 3, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one earned run.
The Giants did get some hits (seven) and walks (five) against Lohse, but simply couldn't score.
So what do we predict? Well, how about this: sunshine all around.
OK, that's too vague. But we do think the weather and baseball will go hand-in-hand. There will be beautiful sun and there will be Giants runs. Cain will pitch well, the Giants will chase Lohse and then rain will start. It will scare people and it will awaken the zombie Cardinals. They will make a game of it, but the Giants will stun the world and pull off a late-inning win against the Cardinals to advance to the World Series for the second time in three years.