2014 NLCS Game 5

game-5In 2014, they’re were two teams that were battling for the NL pennant and not necessarily teams that weren’t familiar with this stage, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals and the Giants together won the last four NL pennants. Cardinals were looking to win their 2nd straight NL pennant and return to the World Series after losing in the World Series the previous year to the Boston Red Sox. The Giants as the wild card team were looking to advance to the World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years. Cardinals wanted payback after losing to the Giants in the 2012 NLCS in seven games after having a 3-1 series lead. Game 1 in St. Louis went to the Giants as pitcher Madison Bumgarner got a shutout and gave up only four hits in 8.2 innings of work. Game 2 was a wild back and forth affair in a game that when Giants tie it the Cardinals would retake the lead with a solo home run (happened in three different occasions)including a walk-off home run by Kolten Wong as the Cardinals won Game 2 to even the series at 1-1. Game 3 back in San Francisco, the Giants jumped to a 4-0 lead and the Cardinals came back to tie 4-4, the Giants would eventually win in the bottom of the 10th innings when Gregor Blanco squeezed a bunt to advance the runners in better scoring position and Cardinals closer Randy Choate threw wildly to first base allowing Brandon Crawford to come and score the winning run as the Giants took Game 3. In Game 4, the Cardinals had an early 4-1 lead but the Giants came back to win 6-4 in another exciting game to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Giants had to win one more game to win the NL pennant and advance to the World Series. In Game 5, the Cardinals again scored first in the 3rd and then later in the 3rd the Giants got their first home run of the series with two-run home run from Joe Panik to put the Giants ahead 2-1. Cardinals quickly regained the lead with solo home runs from Matt Adams and Tony Cruz to put the Cardinals ahead 3-2.  The Giants were held without a hit all the way till the 8th inning. Giants would respond as they have been all series with pinch hitter Michael Morse knocking a solo home run to tie the game 3-3. In the top of 9th the Cardinals would load the bases but Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt retired Oscar Tavares to escape the jam. The Giants got two runners on base while facing Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha, then Travis Ishikawa hit a walk-off home run to win the pennant and to send the Giants to their 3rd World Series in 5 years. It was the first home run to end an NLCS and the 4th to end any LCS.

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