MLB Playoffs 2012: Who Will Break out in Game 3 of the NLCS?

Saakib ZafraniCorrespondent IIOctober 17, 2012

Matt Cain will be looking to deal tonight at Busch Stadium.
Matt Cain will be looking to deal tonight at Busch Stadium.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Game 3 of the National League Championship Series is upon us, as the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants begin a three game stretch in St. Louis. 

The Cardinals were able to win the first game in San Francisco, but were beaten 7-1 in the second. They know all too well the importance of winning at home, and they'll try to close out this series with a 3-0 run at Busch Stadium. 

Last season in the World Series, Texas had to go back on the road to St. Louis, and it proved fatal. 

Coincidentally, both of these teams beat the Rangers in the last two World Series. 

Game 3 is pivotal for both teams, and everybody will need to bring their best. The Giants and Cards are starting their aces in Matt Cain and Kyle Lohse, respectively, so we could be in for a good pitching duel. 

There are a handful of players that we haven't seen step up in the NLCS just yet, but they have the potential to turn this game in their team's favor.


Buster Posey

Posey's grand slam against the Reds in Cincinnati sent the Giants to the NLCS.

Since then, he has been anemic. 

He has gone 1-for-8 so far, and he needs to show up in Game 3 for the Giants. Posey hit 10 balls for two home runs against the Cardinals in the regular season, but hasn't been able to replicate that yet in the postseason. 

Posey shines in big moments.

Expect him to step up tonight. 



Jon Jay

 Jay hit .305 in the regular season, but has been a relative bum in October thus far, hitting an embarrassing .152 in the postseason. 

Jay has only see a handful of Cain's pitches, but hitting 4-for-6 could mean he's more comfortable hitting against Cain than most. 

The Cardinals need all the bats they can get in this game, and Jay is in a position to set things up nicely as the leadoff hitter. 


David Freese 

Freese was the hero last October, but he has been relatively quiet in the NLCS so far, hitting only .125. 

He had a terrific NLDS, hitting 8-for-19, and he has been the guy to show up in the biggest moments for St. Louis. 

Freese has never recorded a hit off of Matt Cain, but tonight could be his night in front of a home crowd.