1. The basics

  2. National League Championship Series, Game 7: San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals; Monday, 8 p.m. ET from AT&T Park in San Francisco
  3. TV: FOX (Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal)
  4. Weather: Persistent rain in the area, which may clear out by first pitch. Windy, with temperatures in the mid 50s.
  5. Pitching matchup: St. Louis' Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) vs. San Francisco's Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79 ERA)
  6. Odds: San Francisco -139
  7. Live chat: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET with the Mercury News
  8. The good news for Kyle Lohse is that, out of all the Cardinals' starters this postseason, Kyle Lohse has had the lowest earned run average, at a measly 1.96. He's one of only two St. Louis pitchers to give a quality start in October. He's also thrown the most innings, having gone at least 5 2/3 in each of his three starts. He led the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory in Game 3, allowing seven hits and only one earned run. He'll have to make sure his command is better this time around, though; he allowed five walks in that outing. 
  9. Matt Cain was on the short end of the Giants' Game 3 loss to the Cardinals but had an excellent game. His only real blemish was a two-run home run off the bat of Matt Carpenter. Then again, he did throw three 1-2-3 innings in the game. Cain was also the pitcher of record in the Giants' 6-4 win in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, completing the comeback the last time the Giants' backs were against the wall.
  10. How they stack up

  11. History

  12. The last two times the NLCS went to a seventh and final game, the victors turned out to be the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2006, the hero was Yadier Molina, who blasted a ninth-inning home run to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. Then, a dominant closer took over, and St. Louis moved on to the World Series. Overall, the Cardinals are 3-1 in Game 7s. 
  13. It's that 1 that might sting the most, and might be most relevant to this game. It was 1996, and the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves. St. Louis was shut out at home -- 14-0 in 1996 (5-0 in 2012) -- then the series moved back on the road. The Cards were able to score one run, but were otherwise stymied by a strong pitching effort. 
  14. In 1996, Donovan Osborne couldn't last through an inning. By the time Braves fans had gotten their hot dogs and found their seats, Atlanta led 6-0. The Braves would go on to win, 15-0, in what would be the greatest postseason collapse until 2004.
  15. Get hyped!