Giants make World Series
SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the Giants to the World Series with a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
The Giants clinched the NL Championship Series 4-1 and now will face the Kansas City Royals in a World Series between two teams that began the playoffs in sudden-death wild-card games.
San Francisco, which won the 2010 and 2012 World Series, will be on the road for this year’s opener on Tuesday.
Pablo Sandoval singled to start the ninth against pitcher Michael Wacha, who was making his first appearance of the postseason for the Cardinals. After one out, Brandon Belt walked to bring up Ishikawa, who drove a pitch beyond right field to trigger an orange towel-waving frenzied celebration.
It was the first time a homer sent the Giants into the World Series since perhaps the most famous drive ever in baseball—Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in a 1951 playoff.
“These guys have been through it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “They have been battle-tested and they know how to handle themselves on this type of stage, and then add to that the kids that we brought up, and then Ishikawa. I mean, what a great story.”
Ishikawa knew right away on his first career postseason homer, raising his right arm into the air as he watched his ball sail into the seats. He emphatically threw his helmet down to the dirt in triumph and joined his jubilant teammates at home plate as fireworks shot off from the center field scoreboard.
The Giants had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth when pinch-hitter Michael Morse homered leading off against Pat Neshek, who had just replaced Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.
Morse was batting for San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, who was named series MVP.
The Giants had three homers in all—Joe Panik hit a two-run drive in the third—after having gone six games without clearing the fences. AP