Watch: Giants win NLCS, pennant on Ishikawa's walk-off homer
The Giants are going to the World Series thanks to the bat of Travis Ishikawa. With two on and one out in the ninth inning, Ishikawa rocketed a fastball from Michael Wacha into the rightfield seats for a walk-off, three-run homer, giving San Francisco a 6-3 win over the Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series to clinch the NL pennant.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, the Giants got a game-tying solo homer from Michael Morse, who was pinch hitting for starter Madison Bumgarner. The Giants' Santiago Casilla got into a jam in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but lefty Jeremy Affeldt came on to get pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras to end the threat.
That set the stage for the bottom of the ninth. With a tired bullpen, Mike Matheny went to Wacha, who hadn't pitched in a game since Sept. 26, to try to get the game to extras. Instead, Wacha gave up a single and a walk sandwiched around a flyout, then fell behind Ishikawa 2-0 before serving up the game-winning blast.
Ishikawa is the fourth player to clinch an LCS with a walk-off homer, joining Magglio Ordonez (Tigers, 2006), Aaron Boone (Yankees, 2003) and Chris Chambliss (Yankees, 1976). He's only the second Giant to hit a walk-off homer in the postseason, joining Dusty Rhodes in the 1954 World Series. He also becomes the second Giants player to clinch the pennant with a walk-off homer, joining Bobby Thomson, who hit the famous "Shot Heard 'Round The World" at the Polo Grounds off the Dodgers' Ralph Branca in 1951.
With the win, the Giants will head to their third World Series in five years, where they'll meet the Royals, who won the AL pennant after finishing a sweep of the Orioles on Wednesday. Game 1 will be on Tuesday night at 8:07 p.m. ET in Kansas City.