Saturday, May 14, 2016

Giants Advance to Fall Classic

Adam Wainwright led the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series berth with an exciting seven game series win over the Houston Astros.
Game 1 - Astros 6, Giants 5
The Giants took a 3 to 1 lead after 6 innings and Wainwright was cruising.  However in the bottom of the 8th things took a turn in favor of the Astros.  With 2 men on, Houston's 1st baseman, Mike Napoli, drove a pitch deep into the LF stands.  The Astros were feeling pretty good going into the top of the 9th sending Edward Mujica and his 51 regular season saves out to the mound with a 4 to 3 lead.  But the joy was short lived as Mujica gave up 4 hits that led to 2 runs and the Giants retook the lead with Craig Kimbrel and his 32 regular season saves and sub 1 WHIP taking the mound.  Omar Infante got on base due to an error by David Wright.  Jeff Miller then sent Khris Davis up to pinch hit for Matt Wieters.  This was the right move as Davis drove the Kimbrel offering into the seats for a walk off pinch hit 2 run homer.

Game 2 - Astros 3, Giants 0
The Astros scored runs in the 1st, 2nd and 6th innings but Mr. Clayton Kershaw would only need the run in the 1st as he dominated the Giants all night long.  Despite having a bit of a control problem (5 walks), Kershaw limited San Francisco to 3 hits while striking out 6 en route to his 3rd win of the playoffs.  Now the series shifts to the bay area.

Game 3 - Giants 3, Astros 1
Eric Stults (6 IP, 3 hits, 1 run) and Max Scherzer (7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 K) put on a heck of a pitching performance but neither factored into the decision.  With the game knotted at 1 going into the bottom of the 9th, Chris Withrow was called on to pitch.  He promptly walked Allen Craig before grooving one to Coco Crisp who clubbed into the right field seats for the walk off dinger and gave the Giants their 1st win of the series.

Game 4 - Giants 2, Astros 1
The Giants even the series on another walk off win.  In another great pitching match up, Adam Wainwright was dominant.  He threw a complete game giving up 6 hits and striking out 6 was giving up a single run.  His counterpart, Homer Bailey, pitched 5 innings giving up 8 hits, 1 run and striking out 5.  Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless 8th before loading the bases up with 1 out in the 9th before giving way to Tony Watson.  Watson must have watched the Coco Crisp home run from the night before as he sailed 4 straight pitches out of the strike zone to crisp to give him the walk off walk.

Game 5 - Astros 2, Giants 1
Clayton Kershaw once again dominated the Giants lineup.  Once again he gave up a measly 3 hits to San Francisco, one of them being a solo shot to Freddy Galvis in the 8th inning.  Jason Kipnis hit a 2 run long ball in the 6th to give Kershaw all the support he needed.  Astros are feeling good, just needing 1 at home to take the series.

Game 6 - Giants 4, Astros 3 11 innings
Allen Craig was the hero for game 6.  He took Eric Stults deep 2 times, including the go ahead dinger in the top of the 11th.  After watching his bullpen blow 2 of the games at San Fran, Jeff Miller let Stults go all 11 innings and that cost him as the pitch to Craig was a breaking ball that did not break.  Zack Greinke pitched 3 innings of scoreless relief and Kimbrel picked up the save.  On to game 7.

Game 7 - Giants 4, Astros 2
Wainwright/Bailey III - Wainwright went 6 innings giving up 11 hits and 2 runs while striking out 6 to out duel Homer Bailey who went 7 innings giving up 11 hits and 4 runs while striking out 9.  Pedro Florimon surprised everyone by sending a 2 run shot deep into the night in the 4th inning.  Houston tried to climb back into it with 2 runs in the 7th but then Tyler Roark and Craig Kimbrel shut them down in the 8th and 9th innings to give the game and the series to the San Francisco Giants.

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