"The last time out my stuff went backwards a little bit," Carpenter said. "I was trying everything I could to get outs but unfortunately it didn't work. I had some nice work in between that start and this start, I feel good and I'm looking forward to getting back out there."
The Giants returned to the Bay Area as soon as they could to get ready for Game 6, flying home overnight and landing at 2:30 a.m. But the Cardinals still had to go home after Friday night's game and pack their bags. They slept in their own beds and took off from St. Louis at midday Central time.
San Francisco, which made an improbable run to the 2010 World Series title, hopes to send St. Louis out of town empty-handed. The Giants won the NLCS in five games at their waterfront ballpark against the Cardinals in 2002 before falling short in a seven-game Series to the wild-card Angels.
The Detroit Tigers are waiting on their opponent after a four-game ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees.
Not that Bochy or Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can even think that far in advance, just yet.
"I don't necessarily see them as pesky as much as just talented," Matheny said of the Giants. "And the same kind of makeup that we have, they aren't going to go away and neither are we. And we knew that going into this thing. As soon as we won a couple of games at home there was nobody in there for a second under the belief that this was going to be a team that was going to just roll over. So we know that this team has the ability to do what they did, once again, in Cincinnati, running in there and doing something that hasn't been done all season. ... It's just a matter of execution, and they executed better than us yesterday."