In the Giants’ first and only bad postseason start, Ryan Vogelsong coughed up a four-run hairball over three innings, then retreated to the clubhouse, where starters usually go to watch the rest of the game. The only odd thing was, Vogelsong refused to strip off his uniform.
“I love this time of year,” Vogelsong said. “It was a disappointment to me to not be out there and feel the energy for more than I was able to. I guess I wasn’t ready to let it go yet.”
Neither were the Giants, who refused to let a three-run deficit stop them from moving within one win of another pennant.
The Giants closed the gap to 4-3 the traditional way: a leadoff single by Joaquin Arias (pinch-hitting for Vogelsong) in the third and RBI singles by Buster Posey (one of his three RBIs) and Hunter Pence, all against starter Shelby Miller.
But the Cardinals, more specifically first baseman Matt Adams, threw away the game in the sixth after Juan Perez batted for Travis Ishikawa and walked, Crawford singled for his first hit of the series and Matt Duffy pinch-sacrificed.
Blanco, whose bunt led to the Randy Choate throwing error that won Game 3 for the Giants, hit a grounder to Adams, who was playing in. Adams backhanded the ball, turned and bounced his throw home.
Even a good throw might not have gotten Perez, whose oblique slide got him to the plate to tie the game 4-4. But Adams didn’t give catcher Tony Cruz a chance.
Joe Panik then hit another ball to Adams, who should have turned an inning-ending double play and kept the game tied. But after Adams stepped on first, he fired a wide throw to second in a bid to double up Blanco.
Crawford scored to give the Giants their first lead at 5-4.
Posey lined a two-out RBI single to left to make it 6-4, and the bullpen did the rest.
AT&T Park was rocking, the Cardinals were reeling, and I was staggering.
It was a very good night.
MadBum takes the mound in San Francisco tonight to try to nail down NLCS Game 5 and another trip to the World Series.
The Kansas City Royals are already going.