For the third time in five years, the San Francisco Giants are headed to the World Series, which is pretty incredible. The other two times they won the thing, but they weren’t facing the unbeatable Kansas City Royals …
- Adam Wainwright pitched reasonably well in his final start of the year (total innings for the season: 243, much of it with a balky elbow), turning the game over to the bullpen in the 8th inning with a 3-2 lead. Pat Neshek gave up a homer to Michael Morse to tie it. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Mike Matheny went with Michael Wacha in the tie game – the youngster hadn’t pitched yet in the playoffs, so it as a really kind spot to put him in – who gave up a hit, a walk, and a walk-off three run homer to Travis Ishikawa:
- That’s a fun celebration right there, and kudos to Joe Buck for the very understated (1951 throwback) call.
- The homer was something of a redemption for Ishikawa who misplayed a ball earlier in the game, leading to the Cardinals’ first run. Madison Bumgarner went 8 innings, gave up 3 earned on 5 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 5.
- As you might expect, Mike Matheny is being excoriated for the decision to go with Wacha, who hadn’t pitched in three weeks after dealing with a shoulder issue midseason and then not quite being his dominating self late in the year. It didn’t make much sense at the time, and now the poor kid will have all offseason to stew about the homer he gave up. And the heat will be on Matheny for brutal decision-making, despite the Cardinals’ relative success throughout the year.
- Why not go to Carlos Martinez or Seth Maness or even closer Trevor Rosenthal, by the way? This is the wrong kind of thinking I hope I never, ever hear come out of the mouth of a Cubs manager:
Matheny, when asked about not using closer T. Rosenthal in 9th: "We can't bring him in, in a tie-game situation. We're on the road.”
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) October 17, 2014
- That kind of response would anger me with respect to a regular season game, let alone the potential FINAL INNING of an LCS appearance. When every batter you face could end your season, you go with the best pitcher you have, whatever label you’ve given them.
- Now you can take the weekend. The Giants and Royals don’t convene for Game 1 of the World Series until Tuesday night in Kansas City.