Cards Sent Home Packing, Giants Advance to World Series

Busch Stadium Panaramo 640 X 424 JPEG

Thursday October 16th– NLCS Game 5- Cardinals 3 Giants 6. San Francisco wins series 4-1. The Giants walk off with the NLCS winner in game 5 with a 3 run bomb by Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the 9th inning.

W- Jeremy Affeldt (1-0)

L- Michael Wacha (0-1)

The Cards had a tough task to uphold on Thursday night. The Redbirds needed a win to send the series back to St. Louis for games 6 and 7, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. The Redbirds struck first in the top of the 3rd inning as red hot Jon Jay doubled in Tony Cruz to make it a quick 1-0 lead. That was the only scoring play in this game that was not a home run. As they have done all series long, the Giants wasted no time in coming back. Joe Panik stepped up to the plate with a runner on first base with two outs and he hit a clutch home run to put the Giants up 2-1. The 2 out runs scored by the Giants have been present all series long. The Redbirds answered back themselves in the top of the 4th inning with a little power surge of their own. Matt Adams and Tony Cruz each hit a solo home run to put the Cards on top 3-2. Both offenses remained at a stalemate for a few innings until the 8th inning rolled around. Micheal Morse hit a big home run for the Giants in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game up at 3 runs apiece. The Cardinals had a big opportunity in the top of the 9th to take control of the game. They had bases loaded, with two outs, and Oscar Taveras at the plate. Oscar wasn’t able to square the ball up and he grounded out to first base for the final out of the inning. The Giants were one run away from making another trip to the World Series. After a Pablo Sandoval single and a Hunter Pence walk given up by Michael Wacha, who hadn’t pitched since late September, Travis Ishikawa stepped up to the plate, looking to end the series with one swing. That is exactly what he did. Ishikawa sent a shot to deep right field that barely made it over the wall. Giants win the game 6-3 and advance to the World Series to take on the Kansas City Royals.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was scrutinized for multiple calls in this game. People questioned him taking out Matt Holliday for Peter Borjous in the bottom of the 8th, and pinch running Daniel Descalso for Matt Adams when the game was still tied in the top of the 9th inning. I understand that Matheny was trying to make some aggressive managerial calls, but it’s hard to take out two of your best power hitters when the game is tied in the late innings, especially when it is an elimination game. The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals beat themselves in this series. They made mistakes and San Francisco took advantage of every single one of them. They were the better team in this series and they deserved to win. The Cardinals can’t hang their heads though. They struggled in the NLCS, but what a season it has been overall. They went from no offensive production, and sitting at third place in the division in early August, to winning the division title, beating the “unbeatable” Clayton Kershaw twice in the NLDS, and advancing to their fourth straight NLCS appearance. Those are a lot of things to be proud of if you are a Cardinals fan. This team has work to do. They have a lot of young pieces that can still develop or even be traded for big players. Overall though, great season by the Cardinals and you better believe that they will be back.

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