Giants grab 5-1 lead over Cardinals in Game 2 of NLCS

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Marco Scutaro just exacted a bit of a revenge en route to giving the Giants a 5-1 lead over the Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLCS.

After being taken out at second base by Matt Holliday in the top of the first inning, Scutaro pulled a bases-loaded, two-out single into left field in the bottom of the fourth to bring home three runs. And wouldn’t you know it, Holliday booted the ball to allow Angel Pagan to score all the way from first base. That’s some delicious baseball justice right there. Scutaro was credited with two RBI while Holliday was given an error.

The Giants broke the 1-1 tie earlier in the inning when Brandon Crawford reached first base on a throwing error by Chris Carpenter which allowed Brandon Belt to score.

Mike Matheny sent Skip Schumaker up as a pinch-hitter to begin the fifth inning, so Carpenter is done for the night. Only two of the five runs he gave up were earned. Ryan Vogelsong worked around a two-out double by Carlos Beltran to work a scoreless fifth. He’s three outs away from becoming the first Giants’ pitcher to last six innings this postseason.

Rockies acquire Pat Neshek from the Phillies

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The Rockies announced on Wednesday night that the club acquired relief pitcher Pat Neshek from the Phillies in exchange for three minor leaguers: infielder Jose Gomez, pitcher J.D. Hammer, and pitcher Alejandro Requena.

Neshek, 36, made the  National League All-Star roster and currently owns a 1.12 ERA with a 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40 1/3 innings. He’ll help bolster the 58-44 Rockies’ bullpen as they vie for one of the two Wild Card slots realistically, and hope to overcome the Dodgers’ 12-game lead in the NL West.

More on the minor leaguers shortly.

Cameron Rupp, who criticized Odubel Herrera for bat-flipping, flipped his bat on a home run

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Earlier, Craig wrote about the negative reaction within the Phillies’ clubhouse after outfielder Odubel Herrera A) flipped his bat on a fly out, and B) failing to run out a dropped third strike. Manager Pete Mackanin was one of Herrera’s critics, unsurprisingly, but so was catcher Cameron Rupp.

Via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, Rupp said that the Phillies’ frustration with Herrera is “not a secret.” He said, “Pete is the manager and what he asks us to do, we’re supposed to do. It’s a team thing and one guy can’t just not follow the rules. It’s not the first time. It has happened before and that’s something we don’t want to see. We want him in the game. He’s a good player. It’s hard for us. He’s a grown man. He has to learn on his own. We can only say so much.”

Though Rupp didn’t directly say his criticism of Herrera pertained to bat flips, we can logically deduce it as such. Herrera doesn’t commonly fail to run out dropped third strikes, but he does commonly flip his bat, particularly on non-homers.

Rupp had a good game against the Astros on Wednesday night, blasting a pair of two-run home runs. The problem? Rupp flipped his bat. In a 9-0 game.

The MLB.com video doesn’t really give a chance to see the full extent of Rupp’s flip, so here’s a .gif from Chris Jones:

And just in case anyone feels I’m interpreting the situation through a biased lens, Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice also saw it the same way.

We should probably expect Mackanin to bench Rupp for the next two games like he did Herrera, right? What’s that, you say? Certain players were more likely to be criticized for expressing emotion and perceived lack of hustle? Really makes you think.