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Posts Tagged ‘National League Championship Series’

The glory of baseball (and most other sport) is that when a game is well played and close the drama of the competition can turn the game into a thing of beauty.  This is what happened in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday.  Even though the team I support (the S.F. Giants) lost that game by 5 to 4 on the strength of four home runs by the St. Louis Cardinals, the game was thrilling, close and could have gone either way.  The Cardinals, who have been among the cellar dwellers for teams with home runs during the regular season, have suddenly found their power stroke.
Monday was a day off for travel and play resumed today for three games (and three days) here in San Francisco.
Today, the Giants returned the favor by winning Game 3 by the score of 5 to 4.  This was another “beautiful” game because although the Giants jumped out to a first inning lead of 4 to 0, they let the Cards hang around and hang around until they finally tied the game and sent it into extra innings.  In the 10th inning, the Giants did what they have been doing this whole postseason – they found a way to win.  The got a walk, a funky hit and then a bunt which allowed a walk-off runner to score when the pitcher threw a wild toss to 1st base to try to get the force out.  The ball sailed inside the man covering first base and down the baseline into the warm up area.  The runner was safe at first and the Giants won.  What should have been an “easy” out (meant to simply advanced the runners) ended up an error to win the game.
Well, as unconvincing as the win may have been, we’ll take it.  The Giants are now up 2 – 1 in the series with four games left and the next two are here at home.  We need to play .500 ball to advance.  The Cards need to play .750 to advance.  Pretty long odds for the “Birds On A Stick”.  Historically, when a team wins game 1 on the road and is 2 – 1 in the Series, they win game four  59% of the time and the seven game series 68% of the time.  Not as dominating a percentage as I would have hoped for, but still much better than being in the reverse.  So, on to Game 4!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Deliver Us Something Larger
2012 Bore, n.
2011 Attaining High Office

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Well, as I said in a prior post, it’s starting to look like “Katie-bar-the-door”…  !!!  The S.F. Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series by 3 to 0!!!
Madison Bumgarner, our ace southpaw, pitched a dominating game (7-2/3 innings, 4 hits, no runs allowed) on his way to breaking a 90 year old record for consecutive playoff innings without allowing a run.  The current record is now MadBum’s and stands at 26-2/3rd innings (and counting).
The Giants scored two of their three runs off of Card miscues, so we’re still waiting for the offense to wake up.  The good news is when you don’t allow ANY opposition runs, you only have to score 1 run to win the game.  So we did have a little insurance.
So, for now, it’s mission accomplished!  We’ve gone to their home and taken game 1.  Now, we only need to play .500 ball in the next six games while they have to play .666 ball to move on to the World Series.  Both teams are certainly capable of playing to that level, but the burden is now definitely on St. Louis to win Game 2.  For the regular season, the Cards won 2 more games than the Giants and finished with a .556 winning percentage, to .543 for the Giants.  It’s far more likely the Giants will continue to play .543 ball and advance, than it is the Card’s will jump from .556 to .666.  But, that’s why we play the games.  Both teams are tested champions and I still expect the series to go at least six games.
Tomorrow is Game 2 and then the teams fly to San Francisco for three games.  The NCLS playoff format this year is 2-3-2.  Two games in St. Louis; three games in San Francisco; and, the final two games back in St. Louis.  Of course, the last three games are only played if necessary.
On the downside, the Baltimore Orioles have now given up games 1 and 2 in the American League Championship Series – both at home to the Kansas City Royals.  Baltimore now needs to win 4 of the remaining 5 games to win the ALCS and go to the World Series.  .800 ball is asking a whole lot with the next three games in Kansas City, so it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be the all Orange & Black World Series I was hoping for.
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
.
On This Day In:
2013 Running To
2012 Suddenly
2011 Liberal Washington
2010 Giants Advance To NLCS!!

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As I predicted, the S.F. Giants have advanced to the National League Championship Series (a best of seven) by defeating the Washington (D.C.) Nationals in four games of their best of five NLDS series (National League Division Series).
The Giants have now gone on the road to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wildcard playoff game, and then the best (based on regular season records) team in the National League.  The later by winning the first two games of the series in Washington.  As stated in previous years posts about baseball, in the playoffs, it is very difficult to beat any team three or four times in a row, so the Giants had to only “survive” by winning one of the last three games in the five game series and they were fortunate to be playing the second set of two games at home in San Francisco.
Having said that, the Giants entered game three with every hope of a three game sweep.  They had their best pitcher (Madison Bumgarner) on the mound and most of the National’s were batting extremely poorly.  As it turned out, the Nat’s managed to manufacture just enough runs to squeak by in game three, but their luck ran out while seven of their starting nine continued in tragically bad hitting slumps.
So, now the Giants face a familiar foe – the St. Louis Cardinals, with the first two games being played at the Cards’ home park.  This is kind of a “rubber-match” series for these two teams as both teams have won two World Series Championships in the last four years.  The winner of this series will have a definite leg up in being able to stake claim to being the “team of the decade”.  Of course this assumes the National League Champ goes on to win the World Series over the American League Champ.  (This is by no means, a given…)
Anyway, the immediate goal is to go back to St. Louis and win at least one of the first two.  If we can do that, Katie-bar-the-door, the Giants will be on their way…  Go Giants!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
.
On This Day In:
2013 Nothing Ridiculous
2012 Keeping Faith
2011 Summon Us, Don’t Criticize Us
2010 Obama’s Wars – Book Review
Game Two – Hearbreaking Loss

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