ST. LOUIS -- Though the sample size remains small, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez have pitched at a higher rate during the postseason than they did in the regular season. And their regimen might even increase during the National League Championship Series.
Affeldt and Lopez, the Giants' pair of left-handed relievers, each has appeared in three of five postseason games. During the regular season, Lopez pitched in approximately 40 percent of games (65-of-162), compared with Affeldt's 38 percent (62-of-162).
"I think going into pretty much any postseason, you can kind of expect to have the workload go up a tick," Lopez said.
Three of the Cardinals' primary offensive players bat left-handed: Mike Adams
, Matt Carpenter
and Jon Jay
. This sets up potential opportunities for Giants manager Bruce Bochy to use Affeldt or Lopez in a lefty-on-lefty matchup.
However, the Cardinals left-handed-swinging trio thrived against left-handed pitching in the Division Series against Los Angeles. Adams went 3-for-10, Carpenter was 5-for-13 and Jay went 5-for-9.
This was duly noted by Giants Game 1 starter Madison Bumgarner, who happens to throw left-handed.
"It's not the typical left-on-left matchup," he said. "They'll stay in there and pull the ball. They seem pretty comfortable facing left-handed pitching. That's just telling you how good of hitters they are."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.