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When the San Francisco Giants and the Saint Louis Cardinals matchup this week, it will be a showdown of the four most recent National League champions. But before either team can think about representing the NL in the World Series, they need to right their ships and get back to winning baseball games.
The Giants, who had a 9.5-game lead in NL West on June 8, now find themselves looking up at the Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings. The Giants have won a mere four times in their last 19 games and currently ride a four-game losing streak.
"We can't let these two weeks, whatever it's been, define who we are. We got to keep remembering how good we were and it can happen again," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy told MLB's official website, reports STATS LLC.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 5-7 in their last 12 games and dropped three out of four to the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. Saint Louis’ offense struggled, scoring only four runs in the entire series. The Cards managed one run in the three losses combined, according to their schedule.
The series gets underway Tuesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The opener will pit Tim Lincecum of the Giants against Saint Louis’ Marco Gonzales.
Lincecum has thrown more no-hitters than Gonzales has made starts in the Majors. Lincecum is coming off of his second no-no in the last 12 months, while Gonzales will be making just the second start of his career.
In his first outing, Gonzales went five innings, giving up five runs and receiving a no decision.
Lincecum, who no-hit the San Diego Padres last Wednesday, has a long history with the Cardinals. In his first five starts against the Red Birds, he was 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA. In the three starts since then, he is 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA.
The first game of the series is slated for Tuesday night at 10:15 p.m. ET.