Three keys for the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS

Bullpen will likely play a bigger role; hitting with men on base must improve

Three keys for the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS

ST. LOUIS -- The Giants improved to 27-10 in the postseason under manager Bruce Bochy with their 3-0 victory in Saturday night's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

By now, they have developed something close to a set formula for victory. Here's Sunday's gameplan, which varies only slightly, if at all, from the Giants' usual modus operandi.

  Date Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 11 SF 3, STL 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 12 STL 5, SF 4 video
Gm 3 Oct. 14 SF 5, STL 4 video
Gm 4 Oct. 15 SF 6, STL 4 video
Gm 5 Oct. 16 SF 6, STL 3 video

1. Beat Cards to board
Including the postseason, San Francisco is 69-18 when scoring first. This helps release some stress -- not that the Giants get too stressed out, but it does help bolster confidence and take the crowd out of the game.

2. Engage the clutch (hitting)
This is closely related to the point made above. The Giants put runners on base in Saturday's Game 1, but they stranded 10 of them and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. They won, but they can't survive with such slipshod offense consistently.

3. Get ready, bullpen
Jake Peavy has pitched effectively of late for the Giants, but he hasn't pitched especially deep into ballgames. The Giants likely will have to call on more than just Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla to get through this game.

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.