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Top stats: Giants advance to World Series

The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!

Travis Ishikawa

IshikawaThis wasn't quite Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World of 1951, but it was quite dramatic in its own respect.

Travis Ishikawa picked the best time for his first career walk-off home run, one that put the San Francisco Giants into the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, beginning next Tuesday in Kansas City.

This will be the Giants' 20th World Series appearance, surpassing the St. Louis Cardinals for the most in National League history. The Giants are halfway to the Yankees' 40 World Series appearances.

The history

Ishikawa is the ninth player to end a postseason series with a home run, the first since Magglio Ordonez did so for the 2006 Detroit Tigers against the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. He's the fourth player to homer in an LCS-clinching game and the fourth player whose first career home run is a postseason-series clincher.

1st career walk-off HR
Comes as Postseason Series Clincher

Ishikawa played more games for Triple-A Fresno in the minors this season (71) than he did for two major league teams -- the Pirates and Giants -- during the regular season (62). He made a big impact earlier in the game with a defensive miscue when he misplayed a fly ball that allowed the Cardinals to score a run.

The home run came 11 years to the day of another home run to win a pennant -- Aaron Boone's for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox in 2003. Boone was at this game as a broadcaster for ESPN Radio.

Michael Wacha allowed the home run. He was the losing pitcher in the game that knocked the Cardinals out of the postseason in each of the past two years.

It was the second time the Giants beat the Cardinals in an LCS on a walk-off hit. Kenny Lofton had the game-winning hit against them in 2002.

This World Series will be the second to pit two wild-card teams head-to-head. The Giants lost the other in seven games in 2002 to the Los Angeles Angels.

This one will also be the first in an uninterrupted season that features two teams with fewer than 90 regular-season wins.

This World Series will feature two teams with big winning streaks.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes the Giants have won eight straight postseason series. That's tied with the Yankees (1927 to 1941) for the second-longest streak ever, trailing only the 1998 to 2001 Yankees, who won 11 straight.

The Royals have won 11 straight postseason games, including an unprecedented eight straight this postseason.

MVP: Madison Bumgarner

Giants starter Bumgarner won LCS MVP honors despite leaving Game 5 with the Giants trailing 3-2.

Bumgarner is the first pitcher in Giants history to win LCS MVP honors. Five hitters have won the award for them.

Bochy now Hall of Fame-worthy

Bruce Bochy has now won four pennants as a manager. He's won three with the Giants and one with the Padres. Every other manager to have at least that many is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.