2014 National League Championship Series

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2014 National League Championship Series
San Francisco Giants logo
2014 National League Championship Series logo
St. Louis Cardinals logo
San Francisco Giants
88 - 74 in the NL
4 - 1
Series Summary
St. Louis Cardinals
90 - 72 in the NL

Overview[edit]

The Teams[edit]

San Francisco Giants

St. Louis Cardinals

Umpires[edit]

With the introduction of instant replay, one extra umpire was added to work the replay screen at MLB headquearters, Emmel doing so in Games 1 and 2 and Cuzzi starting with Game 3 until the end of the series.

Series results[edit]

Game Score Date Pitchers Time (ET)
1 San Francisco Giants 3 St. Louis Cardinals 0 October 11 Madison Bumgarner (1-0) Adam Wainwright (0-1) 8:07 pm
2 San Francisco Giants 4 St. Louis Cardinals 5 October 12 Jake Peavy (0-0) Lance Lynn (0-0) 8:07 pm
3 St. Louis Cardinals 4 San Francisco Giants 5 October 14 John Lackey (0-0) Tim Hudson (0-0) 4:07 pm
4 St. Louis Cardinals 4 San Francisco Giants 6 October 15 Shelby Miller (0-0) Ryan Vogelsong (0-0) 8:07 pm
5 St. Louis Cardinals 3 San Francisco Giants 6 October 16 Adam Wainwright (0-1) Madison Bumgarner (1-0) 8:07 pm

Results[edit]

Game 1 @ Busch Stadium[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Giants 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
WP: Madison Bumgarner (1-0), LP: Adam Wainwright (0-1), SV: Santiago Casilla (1)
Home Runs: none
  • Attendance: 47,201

Game 1 was a battle of aces, with the Giants coming out on top when Madison Bumgarner prevailed over Adam Wainwright. It was the second time this postseason Bumgarner went deep into a game without allowing any runs; he had recorded a complete game shutout in the Wild Card Game, and tonight pitched 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run, combining on a shutout with two relievers. In the process he extended his string of scoreless innings on the road in the postseason to 26 2/3, a new record. The Giants' runs were helped by some uncharacteristic defensive miscues by the Cardinals. The Cards' former manager, Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog, delivered the ceremonial first pitch. Neither team made any unexpected line-up choices; for the Giants, their left fielder during the season, Mike Morse, was back on the roster after missing the first two rounds of the postseason, but was confined to a pinch-hitting role.

Bumgarner was outstanding during the first innings of the game, carving the Cardinals hitters at will after 3B Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the 1st with a single and did not get into any significant trouble until the 7th. In contrast, Wainwright once again labored on the mound, needing almost 100 pitches without completing the 5th inning. After getting the Giants out in order in the 1st, he started the 2nd by allowing a lead-off double to 3B Pablo Sandoval and walking RF Hunter Pence. 1B Brandon Belt hit a soft single to load the bases, but Wainwright struck out SS Brandon Crawford for the first out. LF Travis Ishikawa followed with a pop-up out of the reach of SS Jhonny Peralta that landed for a single and a first run. Wainwright got Bumgarner to line out for the second out, but Carpenter then misplayed CF Gregor Blanco's grounder for an error, allowing a second run to score. More defensive issues hurt Wainwright in the 3rd after C Buster Posey and Sandoval started the inning with back-to-back singles. Pence hit a ground ball that should have resulted in a double play, but 2B Kolten Wong bobbled it, and the ball headed towards the second base bag where Peralta picked it up; he was able to force out Sandoval, but not getting the second out meant that Belt's fly ball to center, which followed, turned into a sacrifice fly and a 3-0 lead.

Wainwright left the game in favor of Marco Gonzales after giving up a pair of walks in the 5th, but the Cardinals were unable to mount any pressure against Bumgarner until the 7th, after the Giants had left the bases loaded in the top of the inning. C Yadier Molina and CF Jon Jay singled with one out and Wong hit a ball to 1B Belt, who tossed over to Bumgarner, who tagged Wong. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the play, claiming the pitcher had committed obstruction, but the umpire's ruling stood. While facing pinch-hitter Tony Cruz, Bumgarner appeared to flinch on the mound, and the Cardinals loudly asked for a balk to be called, which would have resulted in a run, but to no avail. Cruz struck out and the inning was over, the Cards having wasted their best scoring chance of the game. The Giants' ace retired the first two men he faced in the bottom of the 8th, then left in favor of Sergio Romo, having thrown 112 pitches. Romo got LF Matt Holliday to fly out for the third out, then Santiago Casilla came in to pitch the 9th. He went 1-2-3 to end the game and pick up another postseason save.

Game 2 @ Busch Stadium[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Giants 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 4 0 0
Cardinals 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 5 8 0
WP: Seth Maness (1-0), LP: Sergio Romo (0-1)
Home Runs: STL - Matt Carpenter (1), Oscar Taveras (1), Matt Adams (1), Kolten Wong (1)
  • Attendance: 46,262

The Cardinals, not known for their power as they had finished last in homers in the National League during the season, used a home run barrage to defeat the Giants, 5-4, in Game 2 and tie the series. All the shots were solo ones, though, so it took four of them to match the Giants' scrappy offense, which once again was able to manufacture runs without really hitting the ball hard. Jake Peavy faced Lance Lynn on the mound, but the game was decided in the last couple of innings, after they were long gone.

The Cardinals scored first when 3B Matt Carpenter connected off Peavy in the 3rd inning for already his 4th homer of the postseason. In the 4th, the Cards doubled their lead with their only run that came without a ball leaving the park, breaking a string of 12 consecutive runs scored on home runs this postseason. 1B Matt Adams drew a lead-off walk, SS Jhonny Peralta singled and C Yadier Molina advanced them both with a sacrifice bunt. Peavy walked 2B Kolten Wong intentionally in order to face rookie RF Randal Grichuk, but he singled to left for a second run. Peavy was in deep trouble, but wiggled out by getting his opposite number, Lynn, to fly out to shallow right and Carpenter to do the same to center. The Giants cut the lead in half in the top of the 5th when 1B Brandon Belt hit a lead-off single, LF Travis Ishikawa doubled with one out and pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias hit a ground ball that scored Belt. It was a typical Giants run, coming on an out, and it also meant Peavy was out of the game early, with Jeremy Affeldt taking over in the bottom of the 5th.

The Giants tied the game in the 6th when 3B Pablo Sandoval doubled with two out and RF Hunter Pence followed with a single. That hit ended Lynn's day of work, as Randy Choate took over. In the bottom of the inning, the Cardinals suffered a major blow when Molina pulled an oblique muscle while grounding into a double play. He doubled over in pain and had to be removed from the game with Tony Cruz taking over. San Francisco then took its first lead in the 7th. SS Brandon Crawford drew a lead-off walk, prompting some changes on both sides: Giants manager Bruce Bochy called on Michael Morse to pinch-hit for Ishikawa, and Cards skipper Mike Matheny countered by calling on righty Carlos Martinez. The new catcher, Cruz, allowed a passed ball that put Crawford on second, then Morse hit a broken bat infield single, but Crawford had to stay put at second base. Juan Perez then batted for Affeldt and laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position, after which Gregor Blanco singled to right through a drawn-in infield for a 3-2 lead.

The Cardinals were in trouble, trailing in the late stages of a game with the Giants' bullpen having excelled all postseason, but with one out, young Oscar Taveras, pinch-hitting for Martinez, wrapped a ball around the right field foul pole against Jean Machi to tie the game again. The Giants needed to use two more relievers, Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland, to get out of the inning, which happened when CF Jon Jay was caught off first base by Strickland and thrown out after a rundown. In the bottom of the 8th, Strickland allowed another gopher ball - his fourth of the postseason - this one to Matt Adams, and the Cardinals were in the lead again, 4-3. They brought in closer Trevor Rosenthal to pitch the 9th, but the usually reliable hard-thrower faltered. He gave up a one-out single to pinch-hitter Andrew Susac, then Perez followed with a single that put Matt Duffy, running for Susac, on second base. He got CF Gregor Blanco to line out, but working on a full count to 2B Joe Panik, his ball four pitch got completely away from Cruz, allowing Duffy to score all the way from second base, and the game was tied again 4-4. Perez and Panik both also advanced an extra base on the play, and Rosenthal pitched around the dangerous C Buster Posey, walking him too. He was taken out and replaced by Seth Maness, who got Sandoval to ground out, leaving the bases full.

Whatever momentum the Giants got from their 9th-inning comeback was short-lived. The very first batter for the Cards in the bottom of the 9th, Wong, played the hero with his second game-winning homer of the postseason, this one a walk-off shot to right off Sergio Romo.

Game 3 @ AT&T Park[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Cardinals 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 9 1
Giants 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 6 0
WP: Sergio Romo (1-1), LP: Randy Choate (0-1)
Home Runs: STL - Randal Grichuk (1)
  • Attendance: 42,716

The Giants won Game 3 at home thanks to an error in the 10th inning, a typical outcome for the small ball-loving team. John Lackey and A.J. Pierzynski formed the battery for the Cardinals with C Yadier Molina unavailable, while Tim Hudson started for San Francisco, with no other changes otherwise.

The Cards went down in order in the top of the 1st, and the Giants almost won the game in the bottom of the inning. It started inauspiciously, as CF Gregor Blanco and 2B Joe Panik both made outs, but C Buster Posey singled, as did 3B Pablo Sandoval. RF Hunter Pence followed with a double, driving in a run and placing runners on second and third. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny then ordered an intentional walk to 1B Brandon Belt to load the bases, an unusual decision given there were two outs and both Belt and LF Travis Ishikawa were lefthanders, so there was no platoon advantage to be gained. Ishikawa made the Cardinals pay when he hit a double to centerfield that cleared the bases, putting San Francisco ahead, 4-0.

The only good news for St. Louis was that they still had eight turns at bat to catch up, but they were in a deep hole. What helped was that Lackey regained his composure after that difficult initial stretch, and would allow only two other baserunners until the end of the 6th; his successors, Marco Gonzales, Pat Neshek and Seth Maness each pitched a perfect inning, so the hole they were in never got any deeper. The Cards scored their first run in the 4th. CF Jon Jay and LF Matt Holliday led off with consecutive singles and after two outs, 2B Kolten Wong tripled, scoring both and cutting the lead in half. In the 6th, Jay hit another lead-off single, and after a pair of ground outs, SS Jhonny Peralta singled to make the score 4-3. After one out in the 7th, RF Randal Grichuk hit a long ball, and now the score was tied. Giants manager Bruce Bochy removed Hudson from the game at this point, bringing in Jeremy Affeldt as part of a double switch. Affeldt got the last two outs in the 7th and all three in the 8th, only giving up a single, but the Giants were unable to generate any offense. Santiago Casilla pitched the 9th, retiring St. Louis in order, but the Giants again went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, making it 16 consecutive batters retired in a row. Extra innings would be required to find a winner.

Javier Lopez came on to pitch the top of the 9th and got pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos to ground out and 3B Matt Carpenter to go down on strikes. When Jay singled with two outs, Bochy called on Sergio Romo to replace Lopez and he got Holliday to ground out for the third out. The Cardinals' next pitcher was lefty specialist Randy Choate who walked SS Brandon Crawford to start the inning. LF Juan Perez singled to left after failing in his mission to lay down a bunt, moving Crawford to second. Up next was Blanco, who did lay down the requested bunt towards Choate; the pitcher fielded it, and having to rush because of Blanco's speed, threw the ball over the head of Wong covering first base and into foul territory, allowing Crawford to score the winning run. San Francisco took a two games to one lead in the series. It was only the 8th game in postseason history to end on an error, the last having come in Game 3 of the 2013 World Series, when the Cardinals were the beneficiaries of an obstruction call against 3B Will Middlebrooks of the Boston Red Sox.

Game 4 @ AT&T Park[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cardinals 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 0
Giants 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 6 11 0
WP: Yusmeiro Petit (1-0), LP: Marco Gonzales (0-1), SV: Santiago Casilla (2)
Home Runs: STL - Kolten Wong (2)
  • Attendance: 43,147

The Cardinals let one get away in Game 4, dropping a 6-4 decision after getting an early lead. Once again, they displayed the power, hitting their 6th homer of the series against none for the Giants, but San Francisco came out on top, cashing in their opportunities to score in spite of not hitting the ball particularly hard. Both teams designated their fourth starter to begin the game, Shelby Miller for the Cards and Ryan Vogelsong for San Francisco, and both were knocked out early. There were no surprises in the starting line-ups, with Cardinals C Yadier Molina still unavailable.

There was a lot of scoring in the early going, starting in the 1st inning. 3B Matt Carpenter led off the game with a double and CF Jon Jay followed by drawing a walking, putting Vogelsong in immediate trouble. After one out, 1B Matt Adams singled to left for a 1-0 lead, but SS Jhonny Peralta grounded into an inning-ending double play to prevent further damage. The Giants replied immediately though, as CF Gregor Blanco also led off with a double, took third on a single by 2B Joe Panik and scored on C Buster Posey's sacrifice fly. The Cardinals also benefitted from a well-timed double play, this one grounded into by 3B Pablo Sandoval. The Cards then retook the lead in the 2nd as 2B Kolten Wong led off with a double and was driven in by a single by C A.J. Pierzynski. After RF Randal Grichuk popped out for the first out, Vogelsong caught a break when Miller failed in his mission to lay down a sacrifice bunt, as 1B Brandon Belt was able to throw out Pierzynski at second base. Carpenter drew a walk, but Jay struck out to end the inning. In the 3rd, the Cardinals increased their lead to 4-1 with two more runs against Vogelsong. LF Matt Holliday was the one who led off the inning with a double, after which Adams singled. Peralta again grounded into a double play, which allowed Holliday to score, but the bases were now empty when Wong hit his second homer of the series. It was 4-1, a nice early lead, but given the number of runners the Cards had put on base against a struggling pitcher, it should have been bigger.

It was pretty obvious that Vogelsong was not sharp, so manager Bruce Bochy had pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias lead off the bottom of the 3rd in his stead. Arias singled and took second on a ground out by Blanco. Panik flied out for the second out, but Posey hit a clutch single, driving in Arias to cut the Cards' lead to 4-2. Miller then walked Sandoval, putting Posey in scoring position, and RF Hunter Pence was next to collect a clutch two-out hit, his single to center scoring Posey to make the score 4-3. It may not have been spectacular but that half inning was a big turnaround, as the game went from having been potentially blown open by the Cards, to a one-run affair, essentially because the Giants delivered in the clutch and the Cards failed to do so.

With his starting pitcher out of the game, Bochy turned to Yusmeiro Petit to take the mound. The journeyman had a reputation for being almost unhittable at times, in coming within one out of throwing a perfect game in 2013, in setting a record for most consecutive batters retired this year, and in winning the marathon 18-inning Game 2 of the NLDS a week earlier. He was true to his reputation, striking out the side in the 4th and only allowing a single baserunner in three innings of work. The momentum had now visibly turned. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny removed Miller with two outs and a man on in the 4th, bringing in Randy Choate. He allowed a walk but got out of the inning without giving up a run, then in the 5th, Carlos Martinez walked a couple of batters and allowed a stolen base, but escaped thanks to a double play.

The game was decided in the bottom of the 6th. Entering the inning with a one-run deficit against Marco Gonzales, pinch-hitter Juan Perez led off by drawing a walk. SS Brandon Crawford then singled and Bochy called on another pinch-hitter to bat for Petit, Matt Duffy. He executed the sacrifice bunt as requested, putting the two runners in scoring position with one out. Blanco then hit a ground ball to 1B Adams, who threw home, but his throw was a poor one, allowing the tying run to score. Panik also hit a grounder to first, and this time Adams touched the bag first but his throw to second was wild, allowing Crawford to score the go-ahead run. Seth Maness replaced Gonzales, but he was greeted by yet another clutch hit from Posey, a single to left that allowed Blanco to come home. Sandoval followed with another single, with Posey taking third, but Pence popped out for the third out. The damage was done though, with San Francisco now holding a 6-4 lead.

With Bochy shuffling his relievers to gain the platoon advantage in the 7th, the Cards managed to put to men on base, but Adams was unable to come through with the hit that would have brought the Cardinals closer, grounding to second against against Javier Lopez to end the inning. The Giants placed men on second and third with one out in the bottom of the 7th, but Mike Morse, pinch-hitting for Lopez, hit a grounder to 3B Carpenter. The Giants tried to force the issue by sending Belt home, but he was thrown out, and the threat ended. Sergio Romo pitched the 8th, giving up a two-out single to pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras, but nothing else. The 9th was for closer Santiago Casilla; he also gave up a two-out single, this one to Jay, but then struck out Holliday for the third out. The Giants were now one win away from their third trip to the World Series in five years.

Game 5 @ AT&T Park[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cardinals 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
Giants 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 7 0
WP: Jeremy Affeldt (1-0), LP: Michael Wacha (0-1)
Home Runs: STL - Matt Adams (2), Tony Cruz (1); SF - Joe Panik (1), Michael Morse (1), Travis Ishikawa (1)
  • Attendance: 43,217

With their backs against the wall, the Cardinals turned to their ace, Adam Wainwright, to start Game 5, even though he had been less than convincing in his previous outings this postseason, leading some to speculate he was injured. For the Giants, there was no debate: ace Madison Bumgarner was ready to go. The Cardinals made one change to their line-up, deciding to start long-time backup Tony Cruz at catcher instead of veteran A.J. Pierzynski. No changes were needed for San Francisco. Robb Nen, the Giants' closer when they played in the 2002 World Series, was tabbed to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

The Cardinals drew first blood once again, in the top of the 3rd inning. Cruz drew a lead-off walk and was bunted over to second by Wainwright. 3B Matt Carpenter also drew a walk, the CF Jon Jay followed with a double for a 1-0 lead as LF Travis Ishikawa, normally a first baseman, misread the ball. But the Cards were unable to advance the two other baserunners any further. The Giants replied immediately as CF Gregor Blanco singled with two outs and 2B Joe Panik picked the right time to hit his team's first homer of the series, a two-run shot to right that gave them a 2-1 lead. That lead was short-lived too, as the Cardinals replied with a pair of solo homers in the 4th: 1B Matt Adams led off by going deep against Bumgarner, and two outs later it was Cruz's turn to do so, putting the Cardinals ahead, 3-2.

After those early fireworks, the game settled down until the last couple of turns at bat. The Giants placed their first two hitters on base in the bottom of the 4th, but a double play grounder snuffed that threat, and then neither team got another baserunner until the bottom of the 8th. Wainwright belied any talk that he was injured by striking out 7 and giving up only 4 hits over 7 innings, while Bumgarner gave up 5 hits over 8 innings. Nursing a one-run lead going into the bottom of the 8th, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made a few moves, calling on set-up man Pat Neshek to pitch and bringing in Peter Bourjos to play centerfield in a double switch, while moving CF Jon Jay to left field to strengthen his outfield defence. Bumgarner was due up first for the Giants and Bruce Bochy also made a move, calling on Michael Morse to pinch-hit. He launched a pitch over the left field wall, and the game was now tied, 3-3.

With a save no longer a possibility, Bochy called on closer Santiago Casilla to pitch the 9th. He got SS Jhonny Peralta to ground out, but Adams walked and RF Randal Grichuk singled. Matheny replaced Adams with pinch-runner Daniel Descalso as 2B Kolten Wong, the Cards' most dangerous hitter during the series, came up. There was no magic from the Hawaiian infielder this time though, as he grounded to 3B Pablo Sandoval; the ball deflected off the Kung-Fu Panda to SS Brandon Crawford, who threw to second base to force out Grichuk for the second out. The winning run was 90 feet away, however, and Wong made the situation even tighter when he stole second base. Casilla then walked Cruz to load the bases, and Matheny called on Oscar Taveras, author of a pinch homer earlier in the series, to bat for Bourjos. Bochy replied with lefty Jeremy Affeldt, who won that battle when Taveras tapped a ball back to him. The Cardinals had squandered another golden opportunity. Unbeknownst to anyone, this would turn out to be Taveras' last major league appearance, as the promising young outfielder was killed in a car crash ten days later.

Matheny made a fateful choice going into the bottom of the 9th with the game tied, choosing to turn the ball over to Michael Wacha. One of the heroes of last season's run to the World Series as a rookie, Wacha had not pitched this postseason after missing a good chunk of the year to an injury, but he was preferred to some of the Cards' other bullpen arms. He was not in a good day, however. Sandoval greeted him with a single and was replaced with pinch-runner Joaquin Arias. RF Hunter Pence flied out to right, but 1B Brandon Belt drew a walk. Next up was Ishikawa, and he turned on a 2-0 fastball, launching it into the right-field seats for a three-run walk-off homer. The Giants were returning to the World Series for the third time in five years. Ishikawa was the 9th player to end a postseason series with a homer, the last having been Magglio Ordonez in the 2006 ALCS. Bumgarner was named the series' MVP.

Related Sites[edit]

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NL Wild Card Game (1-0) Giants over Pirates

NL Division Series (3-1) Giants (WC) over Nationals (NLE)

NL Division Series (3-1) Cardinals (NLC) over Dodgers (NLW)

NL Championship Series (4-1) Giants (WC) overCardinals (NLC)

World Series (4-3) Giants (NL) over Royals (AL)

AL Championship Series (4-0) Royals (WC) over Orioles (ALE)

AL Division Series (3-0) Royals (WC) over Angels (ALW)

AL Division Series (3-0) Orioles (ALE) over Tigers (ALC)

AL Wild Card Game (1-0) Royals over Athletics

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