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Updated: 13 hours 18 min ago
The St. Louis Cardinals look across the diamond at the San Francisco Giants and see themselves. At least, they see the team they were for most of the season.
Just like the Giants did so well during World Series runs in 2010 and '12, and have done so well again this postseason, Matt Duffy did the little thing right in the sixth inning Wednesday: Pinch-hitting for Yusmeiro Petit, he placed a successful bunt down the first-base line to advance the runners.
It had been 11 days since Yusmeiro Petit last pitched, that outing covering six relief innings in the Giants' 18-inning win in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Nationals in Washington. "Every day, I'm staying ready," Petit said. "I have to throw a little bit every two days. I'm a long reliever and I have to be ready for anything. You never know when you're needed to throw."
With one out in the sixth inning Wednesday, Giants outfielder Juan Perez stood at third base, representing the potential tying run in Game 4 of the NLCS. Gregor Blanco stepped into the box against Cardinals reliever Marco Gonzales and chopped a pitch toward the right side of the infield, setting off a mad dash to the plate, all captured by Statcast's game-changing technology.
While it's difficult to gripe about the Cardinals' early-inning performance, they certainly could have had more against Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong. In hindsight, two double plays off the bat of Jhonny Peralta in the first and third frames are tough to swallow.
Two years ago in the National League Championship Series, the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead over the Giants after four games, only to squander it away with losses in the final three games of the series. The Giants went on to win the World Series. Reminded of this after Wednesday's loss, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong offered a simplistic yet daunting solution to this predicament. "I guess it would be nice to repay the favor," Wong said, still managing a smile.
Fans can see the 20-second pitch clock and the other experimental rules in action again in the Arizona Fall League tonight, when Salt River hosts Glendale. The game, which begins at 9:35 p.m. ET, will be streamed live on MLB.com and MLBFallBall.com.
Manager Bruce Bochy likes to say that the Giants make their own luck, applying just enough pressure in just the right places. So it was entirely not surprising to Bochy when Gregor Blanco dribbled a ball to the right side in the sixth inning of Wednesday's Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, pressuring Matt Adams into the poor throw that tied the game and sparked the Giants -- now one win shy of their third World Series berth in five years -- to a 6-4 victory at AT&T Park.
Giants catcher Buster Posey has made the transition. The shy kid in the corner as a rookie in 2010 has stepped onto center stage. He may not relish the spotlight, but he has learned to accept it.
The Giants' 6-4 verdict in Game 4 of the NLCS for a 3-1 lead was baffling on the face of it. The Giants had one extra-base hit -- Gregor Blanco's leadoff double in the first off the glove of center fielder Jon Jay -- when they overcame a one-run deficit with three sixth-inning runs. Another double would come from Brandon Crawford in the seventh. The Cards' defense caved, but that's what can happen when pressure is applied. Here are five things we learned from Game 4.
San Francisco rode six innings of shutout relief and a three-run sixth inning to win, 6-4, on Wednesday night and take a commanding 3-1 series lead over St. Louis. Here's what you need to know about the Giants' victory.
The 2014 postseason has been one for the record books, and the Royals' remarkable run to the World Series for the first time in almost three decades is just one of the many high notes for a postseason like none other. If that sounds like a broken record, it's because this has become a non-stop barrage of accomplishments not written in baseball's October annals before, or at least not in a very long time.
As the Royals celebrated the American League pennant, their first since 1985, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, after spending countless years imagining this moment, couldn't quite believe it.
Lorenzo Cain's hot bat and clutch defense earned the Royals' center fielder the American League Championship Series MVP Award on Wednesday.
Royals president Dan Glass sounded the theme for ownership and the club's front office: "We couldn't have done it without the fans. That's where it all starts from. It's time to celebrate." His father, owner David Glass, realizes that Kansas City fans have waited a long time for the American League pennant won on Wednesday.
The Royals will face either the Cardinals or Giants, who remain embroiled in a hotly contested National League Championship Series, on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium.
The 2014 Royals are making defense cool again. They don't just excel at it; they embrace it, revel in it and salivate at the opportunity to take away hits. They proved it, once again, throughout their American League Championship Series sweep of the Orioles.
It has been a magical run, as manager Ned Yost's Royals reeled off their eighth straight victory in this postseason, edging the Orioles, 2-1, on Wednesday in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series to advance to the club's first World Series since 1985. Here's five reasons they won the AL pennant.
Within Kansas City's first four hitters in the first, it grabbed a two-run lead on Wednesday in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series. The manner in which the runs scored embodied the head-scratching way the Royals managed to produce runs this season: infield single, hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice.
After pulling out yet another nail-biter in Game 4 to sweep the Orioles in the ALCS, the Royals let loose on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium, celebrating the club's first trip to the World Series since 1985.