Giants rally to 6-4 victory over Cardinals, move one win away from NL pennant
These two teams entered this series evenly matched with impressive postseason pedigrees: For the fifth consecutive year, either the Giants or Cardinals would represent the National League in the World Series.
This series has played out as such, with both squads alternating wins through the first three games. San Francisco was looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead with veteran Ryan Vogelsong on the mound in Game 4. The Cardinals were hoping to deadlock the series at two with the young Shelby Miller earning the start.
This one seemed poised to go back and forth from the start. Matt Carpenter led off the game with a double and later scored on an RBI single from Matt Adams to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. That lead was quickly erased, however, by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Buster Posey in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 1.
But, in the second inning, the Cards plated a run on an RBI single from A.J. Pierzynski in the second. And, in the third, they scratched two more across on a run-scoring double play and a solo homer from red hot Kolten Wong, bringing the score to 4-1.
Kolten Wong this postseason: 3 HR Kolten Wong in September: 2 HR— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 16, 2014
These Giants have proved they are a resilient group throughout the postseason, and they did so again on Wednesday night, storming back with two runs in the third inning on a pair of RBI singles. First from Posey, courtesy of one of the sweetest swings in the game:
And then Hunter Pence got in on the action to cut the defecit to 4-3, thrilling his fans in the process:
With all that early offense, neither starter made it out of the fourth inning -- managers Bruce Bochy and Mike Matheny opted to turn the game over to their bullpens.
In the sixth inning, the Giants took advantage of some Cardinals mishaps to score two more runs, giving them a 5-4 lead. Then, Posey capped it off with this RBI single, solidifying the Giants lead, 6-4:
Santiago Casilla came in to close out the ninth, and although he allowed a hit for the first time since Sept. 11, he put together a scoreless frame to seal the Giants victory.
The Game Changer
The Giants erupted to take the lead with a three-run sixth inning, two of which came without a hit -- continuing their uncanny ability to score without one. Of their last 22 runs scored, 12 have came without the benefit of a hit.
As some of you shrewdly detected, it's actually 10 runs on zero hits in last 5 games. Forgot that SF by Posey in the 1st tonight. Crazy!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 16, 2014
Other Key Players/Plays
Yusmeiro Petit provided stability to the Giants again out of the bullpen, picking up the victory after tossing three scoreless innings. He even struck out the side in the fourth:
Yusmeiro Petit is now in line for the win after pitching 3 scoreless innings. His postseason line 9 IP, 0 R, 2 H— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 16, 2014
San Francisco moves to just one win away from the World Series, while the Cardinals are staring into the face of elimination.
Game 5 will be a rematch of Game 1, with both teams sending their respecitve aces to the mound. Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner has been dominant this postseason and has yet to surrender a run. For the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright will try to put his recent shakiness behind him -- he has lasted just nine innings through his two postseason starts this month.