The San Francisco Giants continue to find ways to mow through October.
Most consecutive playoff series wins,
This wasn’t your typical series-clinching win, but the Giants will take it, as they advanced to the National League Championship Series with a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of their division series.
The Giants will play the St. Louis Cardinals in a rematch of the 2012 NLCS, which was won by the Giants in seven games.
Weird way to win
The Giants scored the go-ahead run on an Aaron Barrett wild pitch in the seventh inning.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that they are the fourth team to win a postseason series via a go-ahead wild pitch in the seventh inning or later of the series clincher. The other three are the 1927 New York Yankees, the 1972 Cincinnati Reds and the 2004 Yankees.
Barrett had six wild pitches in 40⅔ innings during the regular season. His 6.8 innings per wild pitch ranked sixth-worst among pitchers who threw at least 25 innings in 2014.
How they won
Those two hitters were a combined 12-for-36. The rest of the Nationals were a combined 14-for-123 (2-for-34 in at-bats ending with breaking pitches). Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Denard Span were a combined 5-for-54.
Vogelsong does it again
Though Ryan Vogelsong didn’t get a decision, he held the Nationals to one run in 5⅔ innings, becoming the first pitcher to open his postseason career with five straight starts allowing one run or fewer.
His streak of five straight postseason starts allowing no runs or one run is second all-time to Curt Schilling’s six.
Harper nearly carries Nationals by himself
Harper drove in two runs with a double and a home run.
He’s the fourth player to hit four postseason homers before turning 22, along with Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones and Miguel Cabrera. He joined Cabrera as the only players to hit three home runs in a postseason series before turning 22.
The NLCS will pit the two teams with the most postseason wins in the past five seasons. The Cardinals lead with 30, four more than the Giants.