For the second time in three years, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants will face one another in the NLCS. In 2012, the Giants bested the Cardinals after being down 3-1 in series and would go on to win the World Series.
Contrast this with the Orioles and Royals who haven’t been in an ALCS in 17 and 29 years, respectively.
For the second time in five days, the Cardinals beat Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. After the Cardinals scored 7 runs off Kershaw in Game 1 on Saturday, today Matt Adams belted a three run HR off Kershaw in the seventh inning after being down 2-0. The Cardinals own Kershaw as they also overmatched him in the 2013 NLCS. Kershaw will probably win the NL Cy Young and NL MVP, but no World Series ring.
The Giants had a chance to clinch yesterday, but an errant throw by pitcher Madison Bumgarner put the celebration on hold. As with the Cardinals, the Giants won 3-2. The winning run was scored on a wild pitch by Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett scoring Joe Panik. Barrett then tried to intentionally walk Pablo Sandoval, but airmailed it. Buster Posey tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate. A review of the play was upheld.
Bryce Harper had a hell of a series for the Nats hitting three HRs in the series including one into McCovey Cove off Giants rookie reliever Hunter Strickland. Harper also drove in the Nats’ other run with a double. Needless to say when Harper represented the final out in the ninth, Giants closer Santiago Casilla pitched him gingerly and would eventually walk him. Casilla would get Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos to ground out to Panik for the final out. Pandemonium has ensued in San Francisco and this pandemonium isn’t confined to Pablo Sandoval.
The NLCS will commence on Saturday night in St. Louis.