The San Francisco Giants are heading back to the World Series for the third time in five years following a thrilling, absurd 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS.
The insanity of this game was off the charts. The Cardinals got on the board first thanks to a Jon Jay RBI double in the third, but the Giants made it 2-1 following a two-run homer by Joe Panik. That lead didn’t last long however, because Matt Adams and Tony Cruz each hit solo homers in the fourth, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
Adam Wainwright shut the Giants down the rest of the way, finishing his evening by allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. Madison Bumgarner also stopped the bleeding following the two homer fourth, ending his night by giving up three runs on five hits in eight frames.
Pat Neshek entered the game in the eighth, and the first batter he faced with Michael Morse. Morse didn’t play at all in September because of a strained oblique, and was just 1/3 in three pinch hit appearances in the NLCS. But Neshek made a mistake, and Morse launched a 1-1 pitch deep into the San Francisco night to tie the game at three.
In the ninth, the Cardinals put two men on with one out, but couldn’t score. Michael Wacha replaced Neshek in the bottom of the inning, taking the hill for the first time this Postseason. Pablo Sandoval led off with a single, and after Hunter Pence flied out to right, Wacha walked Brandon Belt on four pitches to bring up Travis Ishikawa, who was playing Morse’s customary left field in this series. After falling behind 2-0, Wacha threw Ishikawa a hanger, and he didn’t miss, smashing the ball just over the wall in right field to end the game and send the Giants to the World Series once again.
The NLCS MVP was Bumgarner, who got the win in Game 1 back in St. Louis. He combined to allowed three runs on nine hits in 15 2/3 innings this series, striking out 12 and walking three.
It’ll be the Giants and Royals in the World Series, starting next Tuesday. Get hyped, folks. This will be a good one.