In an epic game that lived up to what has been a heart-pounding postseason for the hometown nine, the San Francisco Giants clinched the National League Pennant with a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The victory clinched the first World Series appearance for the Giants since 2002 and provides a matchup that will feature a city getting their first World Series title, whether it be the Texas Rangers or San Francisco Giants (who haven't won a World Series since they were at the Polo Grounds).
Things were not looking pretty for the Giants early on as the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Chase Utley and Jayson Werth each drove in a run while Roy Oswalt looked strong early on. In the top of the third the Giants broke through and tied the game at 2, but then saw their starter Jonathan Sanchez pulled from the game in the third after hitting Chase Utley. The HBP caused the benches to clear and Bruce Bochy decided that he wasn't going to waste any time and went to the bullpen with two on and no out in the third.
Bochy brought in Jeremy Affeldt who held the Phillies without a base runner over two innings. The Giants then turned the ball over to Game 4 starter Madison Bumgarner who had a volatile two innings yielding numerous base runners, but no runs scored. The Giants went to Javier Lopez in the seventh inning and he continued his dominance of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, getting them plus Placido Polanco. Utley and Howard finished the series 1-for-12 against Lopez.
In the top of the eighth, the Giants got the run they needed as Juan Uribe poked one over the right field fence to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. Bruce Bochy again showed he was not going to mess around and brought in Game 5 starter Tim Lincecum to pitch the bottom of the eighth. Lincecum struck out Jayson Werth but then gave up back to back singles. Bochy went to his closer Brian Wilson looking for a five out save to get his Giants to the World Series and Wilson delivered.
The Giants will now face the Texas Rangers, with Game 1 of the World Series kicking off Wednesday at approximately 4:30pm pacific. More importantly, thanks to the National League victory in the All Star Game, the Giants will have home field advantage, hosting games 1, 2, 6, and 7. We'll be back with plenty of coverage in the coming week leading up to Game 1.