The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series for the third time in five years. The Giants dispatched the Cardinals in five games.
After not hitting any home runs in the preceding four games, the Giants hit three tonight. Joe Panik hit a two run shot to give the Giants a 2-1 lead in the third. But Matt Adams and back up catcher Tony Cruz hit solo HRs to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Mike Morse tied the game with a pinch hit HR in the eighth off sidewinder Pat Neshek.
In the ninth, the Cards gave the ball to Michael Wacha, the 2013 NLCS MVP instead of Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, who has been ineffective in the NLCS. However, Wacha had not pitched in 20 days and it showed. He gave up a lead off single to Pablo Sandoval. Wacha did get Hunter Pence to fly out to Oscar Taveras who had to run hard to get to that ball. Brandon Belt walked on four pitches. And then up came Travis Ishikawa. A member of the 2010 Giants, he’s been with the Brewers, Yankees, Orioles and had been released by the Pirates back in April. Ishikawa spent most of this year toiling in Fresno and earlier in the game he mishandled a ball in the outfield. Ahead in the count 2-0, Ishikawa did his best Bobby Thomson impersonation and hit a walk-off HR to give the Giants the NL pennant. Ralph Branca might want to give Wacha a call.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner was named the NLCS MVP. In 15 2/3 innings, Bumgarner gave up only three runs. Look for Bumgarner to be on the mound in Game 1 of the World Series which takes place on Tuesday night in Kansas City.
This marks the second time two Wild Card teams have faced off in the World Series. In 2002, the Giants lost in seven games to the Anaheim Angels. And adding the Wild Card game was supposed to make things harder? The Giants and Royals didn’t get that memo.
Giants GM Brian Sabean referred to the Giants as cockroaches because they never die. Ten years ago, the Red Sox were the idiots. I guess the shoe fits.
The big challenge is what I am going to do with no baseball to watch for the next four days.