San Francisco Giants Win National League Wild Card Game


The National League Wild Card game between the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates was locked in a 0-0 pitchers’ duel until the top of the 4th inning when Brandon Crawford unloaded on a hanging breaking ball and knocked it over the right field fence for a grand slam to take a 4-0 lead for the Giants.

Madison Bumgarner was dominant throughout the contest, going the distance and allowing just three hits, while striking out 10 Pirates hitters. Right from the get-go Bumgarner was locked in. He had just 28 pitches through three innings and carried the momentum gained from the beginning throughout the game.

The Pirates only had three baserunners reach scoring position and only one baserunner advanced to third base (in the eighth inning), but Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the only legitimate scoring threat for Pittsburgh.

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Brandon Belt tacked on another run with an RBI single to right field in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 5-0. Belt then came up big again in the top of the seventh inning in which he delivered a two-RBI single to right-center field to take a touchdown lead over the Pirates. He got on base in four of his five at-bats, finishing 2-3 with three RBI’s and two walks.

Buster Posey finished 2-5 and had an RBI at the dish. He hit the ball solidly in his first two at-bats, but had nothing to show for it. In his next two at-bats, however, he came through with singles, including an RBI single up the middle in the eighth inning to help the Giants take an 8-0 lead.

Joe Panik finished with three singles, and Pablo Sandoval tacked on two base hits as well, while the team as a whole finished with 11 hits.

For Pittsburgh, Josh Harrison led the team on offense with two of the team’s four hits, with Russell Martin and Starling Marte also picking up singles. Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez went five innings and gave up five runs on five hits and three walks. The bullpen combined for four innings, six hits, three runs, three walks, and four punch outs.

Up next, the Giants will take on the Washington Nationals in the NLDS beginning on Friday. Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson seem like the most logical choices to start games one and two on the road with Bumgarner possibly being called on to pitch game three at AT&T Park.