October 14, 2014

NLCS 3: Giants 5, Cardinals 4 (10)

Cardinals - 000 201 100 0 - 4  9  1
Giants    - 400 000 000 1 - 5  6  0
With runners at first and second and no one out in the bottom of the tenth, Gregor Blanco's second attempt at a sacrifice bunt was hit to the third base side of the infield. Cardinals pitcher Randy Choate sprang off the mound and fielded the ball, but his quick throw to second baseman Kolten Wong, covering first base, was extremely wild. The ball sailed to Wong's right and rolled down the right field line. Brandon Crawford, who had begun the inning by working an eight-pitch walk, came around to score the winning run. The Giants lead the NLCS, 2-1.

After San Francisco scored four times in the first inning, the team's bats went into hibernation. Twenty-five of the 27 hitters from the second to the ninth were retired, with pitcher Tim Hudson collecting the team's only hit over those eight innings.

After Crawford walked to start the tenth, Juan Perez tried twice to bunt him to second, but failed. Down 0-2, he fouled off two more pitches and took a ball, then lined a clean single to left; Crawford stopped at second. Blanco fouled off his first attempt at a bunt, then dropped one down. Choate was quick to get off the mound, but hurried his throw.

After St. Louis starter John Lackey (6-5-4-1-3, 79) retired the first two Giants on only four pitches, he struggled to get the third out. Buster Posey lined an opposite field single to right. Pablo Sandoval (down on the count 0-2) lined an opposite field single to left. Hunter Pence (down on the count 0-2) clubbed an opposite field double into the right field corner, scoring Posey. Lackey fell behind Brandon Belt 3-0 before throwing ball four intentionally. Travis Iskiwaka immediately made the Cardinals pay, crushing Lackey's first pitch to deep right center. The swirling wind played tricks with the ball and Randal Grichuk was nowhere near where the ball hit low off the wall. (From where the ball his off the fence, it seemed catchable and Lackey seemed to agree, giving what looked like a WTF motion with his arms.) Ishiwaka's double scored all three baserunners.

Lackey and a trio of relievers then held the Giants in check as the Cardinals scratched back and tied the game. Two singles from Jon Jay (3-for-5) and Matt Holliday opened the fourth against Tim Hudson (6.1-7-4-0-5, 89). The next two batters made outs but Kolten Wong - the hero of the Cardinals' Game 2 victory - hit a triple to left-center to halve the Giants' lead. Jhonny Perlata's two-out single in the sixth scored Jay and Grichuk cranked a game-tying solo home run off the left field foul pole in the seventh.

Game 4 is at 8 PM tomorrow.


allan said...

From Elias: How unlikely was the sequence of three plate appearances that produced the winning run in the Giants' 5-4 10-inning victory over the Cardinals? Let's consider those events, one at a time:

Brandon Crawford, who began the 10th inning with a walk, had the lowest on-base percentage leading off innings during the 2014 regular season (.220) among National League players with at least 100 plate appearances to start an inning.

Juan Perez, who then lined a 1-2 pitch for a single, was 3-for-51 (.059) in the regular season with two strikes in the count, the second-lowest such average in the National League among players with at least 50 such plate appearances.

Randy Choate fielded a sacrifice bunt by Gregor Blanco and threw wildly to first base, becoming only the third pitcher in major league history - and just the second in the last 100 years - to commit a game-ending error in a postseason game. The other pitchers to do that were the Orioles' Pete Richert in the 1969 World Series (against the Mets) and Joe Bush of the 1914 Philadelphia Athletics (against the Boston Braves).

allan said...

Also, not counting this game:

In MLB history, there have been 86 previous instances of a best-of-7 series being tied 1-1. The Game 3 winner has gone on to win the series 70.9 percent of the time (61-25).