Giants Walk Off in Extras in NLCS Game 3

The San Francisco Giants found another way to win a game today, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in ten innings. With the Game 3 win, the Giants take a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.

The Giants finally found some power at the beginning of the game, before reverting back to their classic small ball.

In the first, catcher Buster Posey hit a single, which was followed by a single by third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The next hitter, right fielder Hunter Pence, doubled Posey in. Cardinals’ starter John Lackey intentionally walked first baseman Brandon Belt to get to left fielder Travis Ishikawa, who Lackey considered an easier out. Ishikawa repaid him by doubling off the right field wall and clearing the bases to make it 4-0. All of the hits came with two outs.

Giants’ starter Tim Hudson started out strong, pitching three shutout innings to start. However, in the fourth, Cardinals’ second baseman Kolten Wong, the hero of Game 2, tripled to right, knocking two in. Then, in the sixth, with a runner on third, St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta hit a grounder that found its way through the infield and cut the Giants’ lead to just one run.  In the seventh, St. Louis right fielder Randal Grichuk homered down the left field line to tie the game.

That ended Hudson’s day. He finished with 6 ⅓ innings pitched, gave up four earned runs on seven hits, and struck out five. He handed the ball off to Jeremy Affeldt, and the bullpen took it from there. The pen, which was less than stellar in Game 2, gave up just two hits in its 3 ⅔ innings, with four relievers pitching a combined shutout for the rest of the game.

“[They] was awesome. That was great for all of them,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said.

The St. Louis pitching was as lights-out for most of the night. Between Lackey and the bullpen the Cardinals didn’t give up a hit to a Giants’ position player between the first inning and the tenth. The sole blemish was a single by Hudson in the fourth.

In the tenth, Crawford started the rally with a walk. That brought up left field replacement Juan Perez, who came to the plate trying to bunt Crawford over to second. He failed twice, and on a 1-2 count lined a single into left field. That brought up center fielder Gregor Blanco, who tried to move both runners over with a sacrifice. He did manage to lay down a beautiful bunt, which Cardinals’ pitcher Randy Choate picked up and threw the ball into the Cardinals’ bullpen to give the Giants the walk-off win.

The series’s offensive statistics show everything you need to know about how San Francisco gets it done. Of the twelve runs they have scored, only seven of them have come on hits. The Giants’ have really taken advantages of St. Louis’ defensive lapses, scoring three runs off of errors, including the game winner today.

Game four of the series will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. The pitchers will be Ryan Vogelsong, who last pitched in the clinching game of the NLDS against Washington, and Shelby Miller.