This game doesn't need an intro. It was just that incredible. Not the greatest baseball game ever played, but it could be up there with one of the more memorable ones in the history of the game.
Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in 2014 will be remembered for it's ups and downs, it's defiance to end the way we thought it would and how a team in St. Louis who barely hit over 100 homeruns this season hit 4 in one game. We won't remember anything else except for the fact that one man by the name of Kolton Wong, who already had a heroic moment in the NLDS did it again on this Sunday night in October.
On a day filled with promising NFL games and an October sky ready for another baseball blossom, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants faced off in what could be determined as a must win for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants were up 1-0 heading into this game and if the Cardinals gave in to another defeat, then the Giants would head back home with a 2-0 series lead, something few teams have ever come back from.
It looked good as Lance Lynn did his job through the first 5 innings and was handed a lead heading into the second half of the ballgame. In the 3rd inning, Matt Carpenter hit a solo shot to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead and something to build off of as the night progressed. They did so by taking on a bases loaded single by Grichuk to then give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead heading into the 5th.
The Giants threw out their elder ace in Jake Peavy, a guy who was known for his fiery passion out on the mound and he was then handed a couple runs after the Cardinals tacked a couple on him. Pinch Hitter Arias hit into a ground out bringing in a run in the top of the 5th to cut to score to 2-1 Cardinals, then in the 6th Hunter Pence hit one of the more clutch base hits I've seen in a long time. A 2 strike, 2 out single with a man on third to tie the ballgame up at 2-2 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
This is where it got tough for the Cardinals, as Yadier Molina, their captain and anchor of the defense pulled an oblique muscle after hitting into a double play where he couldn't even run out of the box had to be assisted off the field and could not return for the rest of the game. Remember, this was a must win for the Cardinals, and their MVP & Leader was gone for the rest of it with a 2-2 tie heading into the 7th inning.
In the top of the 7th, the Giants then took the lead on a Gregor Blanco RBI single to give the Giants a 3-2 lead without Yadier Molina, seeming to be a devastating blow to the Cardinals as the crowd drew quiet once again.
But that's when the magic came back for the Red Birds and Oscar Taveras hit a solo blast to tie the game back up in the bottom of the 7th making it a 3-3 game heading into the 8th inning. The Cardinals bullpen held it together as Neshek put together a 1-2-3 inning, and Matt Adams came up and cranked a high fastball into the right field seats making it 4-3 Cardinals heading into the 9th inning where it seemed like a 1-1 series tie going back to San Francisco was only 3 outs away.
That's where the Giants did what the Giants usually do, they got gritty, and grinded away at the inning. Two back to back singles to lead off the 9th for the Giants and Matt Duffy came on to pinch run on second base after the second hit in the inning. The next thing you know, there's a wild ball four in the dirt and you see Matt Duffy flying around third base and he scores on an incredible base running read as he went from second to home on a Wild Pitch by Rosenthal tying the game at 4-4. The Giants...Just...Won't...Go...Away. They get the bases loaded with two outs in the inning and they somehow manage to come away empty handed at taking the lead, but they still tied it giving themselves a chance to push the game to another extra innings marathon.
2 pitches into the bottom of the 9th. Kolton Wong sent the NLCS to San Francisco with a 1-1 series tie hitting the Cardinals 4th homerun of the night into the right field seats winning the game for the Cardinals 5-4.
An instant classic. A game where if you watched it and you weren't a fan of either team (Like myself) you truly were on the edge of your seat. The drama, the intensity, the passion, and the significance of the win for a team that desperately needed it; they got it done. Wow, what a ball game. Seriously, if you can, go watch the highlights, it was a spectacular ballgame!
I'll see you tomorrow for Game 3 of the ALCS!