The 2014 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the St. Louis Cardinals against the San Francisco Giants for the National League pennant and the right to play in the 2014 World Series. The series was the 45th in league history with Fox airing Game 1 and Fox Sports 1 airing Games 2–5 in the United States. Game 1 was simulcast on Fox Sports 1 and was hosted by Kevin Burkhardt, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski, who offered sabermetric analysis of the game.
To reach the 2014 NLCS, the Cardinals (Central Division champions, 90–72) defeated the Dodgers (West Division champions, 94–68) in the NLDS, 3 games to 1. The Giants (Wild Card, 88–74) defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game and then defeated the Nationals (East Division champions, 96–66) in the NLDS, 3 games to 1.
This was the fourth time the two teams have met in the postseason (1987 NLCS, 2002 NLCS, and 2012 NLCS). The Cardinals, by virtue of being a division winner, had the home field advantage. The Giants clinched their third pennant within a five-year span, with NLCS wins in 2010 and 2012.
|2014 National League Championship Series|
|MVP||Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco)|
|Umpires||Gerry Davis (crew chief), Phil Cuzzi (Games 1–2), Bill Welke, Mark Carlson, Greg Gibson, Bill Miller, Paul Emmel (Games 3–5)|
|Television||Fox (Game 1)|
FS1 (Games 2–5)
|TV announcers||Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Ken Rosenthal, and Erin Andrews|
|Radio announcers||Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone|
San Francisco won the series, 4–1.
|1||October 11||San Francisco Giants – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 0||Busch Stadium||3:23||47,201|
|2||October 12||San Francisco Giants – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 5||Busch Stadium||3:41||46,262|
|3||October 14||St. Louis Cardinals – 4, San Francisco Giants – 5 (10 inn.)||AT&T Park||3:10||42,716|
|4||October 15||St. Louis Cardinals – 4, San Francisco Giants – 6||AT&T Park||3:53||43,147|
|5||October 16||St. Louis Cardinals – 3, San Francisco Giants – 6||AT&T Park||3:03||43,217|
|WP: Madison Bumgarner (1–0) LP: Adam Wainwright (0–1) Sv: Santiago Casilla (1)|
Madison Bumgarner and the Giants bullpen pitched a shutout and limited the Cardinals to only 4 hits. The Giants scored first in the top of the second off Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright. With the bases loaded, Travis Ishikawa hit a bloop single to left to drive in the first run of the game. The Giants took a 2–0 lead when Gregor Blanco reached safely on a Matt Carpenter error. The Giants tacked on a third run in the top of the third on a Brandon Belt sacrifice fly. The Cardinals threatened to score in the bottom of the seventh, with runners at second and third with two outs. Bumgarner appeared to balk when he stepped off the mound while facing Tony Cruz, but no balk was called by the umpires. Bumgarner recovered to strike out Cruz and got two more outs in the eighth before giving way to Sergio Romo who retired Matt Holliday to end the eighth. Santiago Casilla pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out a 3–0 victory for the Giants.
|WP: Seth Maness (1–0) LP: Sergio Romo (0–1)|
STL: Matt Carpenter (1), Oscar Taveras (1), Matt Adams (1), Kolten Wong (1)
Game 2 was a back-and-forth affair that ended on a Kolten Wong walk-off home run in the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 5–4 win. The Cardinals struck first when Matt Carpenter hit a home run off Jake Peavy in the bottom of the third. Randal Grichuk's bases-loaded singled in the fourth made it 2–0. The Giants cut the lead in half when Joaquín Árias pinch-hit for Peavy in the top of the fifth and scored Brandon Belt on an RBI groundout. In the sixth, the Giants tied it up on a Pablo Sandoval double and Hunter Pence single. The Giants took the lead in the top of the seventh on an RBI single from Gregor Blanco off Cardinals reliever Carlos Martínez. The Cardinals tied it back up in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit home run from Oscar Taveras off Jean Machi. In the bottom of the eighth, Matt Adams gave the Cardinals a 4–3 lead on another home run, this time off Hunter Strickland. The Cardinals brought in closer Trevor Rosenthal in the top of the ninth, but he could not hold the lead. With one out, Andrew Susac singled and Matt Duffy came on as a pinch runner. Juan Pérez singled to put runners at first and second. After Blanco lined out, Joe Panik worked a walk, with ball four coming on a wild pitch that allowed Duffy to score the tying run from second base. The Cardinals were able to escape the inning without further damage. With the game tied 4–4 in the bottom of the ninth, Wong lined the second pitch from Sergio Romo over the right field wall for the walk-off home run, the Cardinals' fourth home run of the game.
|WP: Sergio Romo (1–1) LP: Randy Choate (0–1)|
STL: Randal Grichuk (1)
As the series shifted to San Francisco, the Giants took a 2–1 series lead after Cardinals reliever Randy Choate's wild throw on a bunt in the bottom of the 10th inning allowed Brandon Crawford to score the winning run. The Giants got to Cardinals starter John Lackey in the bottom the first. With two outs, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval both singled, and Posey scored when Hunter Pence hit a double to right field. With runners at second and third, the Cardinals intentionally walked Brandon Belt to load the bases. Travis Ishikawa hit a deep drive to right-center that was nearly a grand slam but was blown back towards the outfield due to a strong wind blowing in from right field. Ishikawa's double scored all three runners to give the Giants an early 4–0 lead. Lackey settled down to keep the Giants scoreless after that, allowing the Cardinals to chip away at the Giants' lead. A Kolten Wong triple in the top of the fourth off Giants starter Tim Hudson knocked in two runs to cut the Giants lead in half. The Cardinals cut the lead to 4–3 with a Jhonny Peralta RBI single in the sixth. Randal Grichuk's home run in the top of the seventh tied the game at 4–4. As the bullpens took over, the game remained tied until the bottom of the tenth inning when Choate issued a leadoff walk to Crawford and a single to Juan Pérez. After Gregor Blanco attempted to bunt the runners over, Choate threw wildly to first base, allowing Crawford to score the winning run.
|WP: Yusmeiro Petit (1–0) LP: Marco Gonzales (0–1) Sv: Santiago Casilla (2)|
STL: Kolten Wong (2)
The Cardinals struck first in the top of the first on Matt Adams's RBI single off of Ryan Vogelsong with two on, but the Giants tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Buster Posey's sacrifice fly off of Shelby Miller with runners on first and third. The Cardinals retook the lead in the second when Kolten Wong hit a leadoff double and scored on A.J. Pierzynski's single. In the third with runners on first and third with no outs, Jhonny Peralta's double play scored Matt Holliday before Wong's home run made it 4–1 Cardinals. Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief for the Giants and pitched three scoreless innings. In the bottom of the third, Posey's single scored Joaquin Arias from third with two outs and after a walk, Posey scored on Hunter Pence's single. In the bottom of the sixth, with runners on second and third with one out off of Marco Gonzales, Gregor Blanco's fielder's choice and Joe Panik's groundout scored a run each, then Posey's RBI single off of Seth Maness gave the Giants a 6–4 lead. Five Giants relievers combined to get the final nine outs and give the Giants a 3–1 series lead.
|WP: Jeremy Affeldt (1–0) LP: Michael Wacha (0–1)|
STL: Matt Adams (2), Tony Cruz (1)
SF: Joe Panik (1), Michael Morse (1), Travis Ishikawa (1)
Game 5 was a rematch of Game 1 starters Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals got to Bumgarner first, scoring a run after two walks and a Jon Jay double in the top of the third. The Giants responded in the bottom of the third when Joe Panik hit a two-run home run to right field, the Giants' first home run since Brandon Belt's game winner in Game 2 of the NLDS, a drought that lasted six games and 242 plate appearances. The Giants' lead didn't last long, as Bumgarner gave up home runs to Matt Adams and Tony Cruz in the top of the fourth. Both starters settled down as Bumgarner retired the final 13 batters he faced, and Wainwright retired his final 10 straight. The Cardinals carried a 3–2 lead into the eighth inning and brought in Pat Neshek to hold the lead. Pinch hitter Michael Morse knocked a home run to left to tie the game at 3–3. Neshek retired the next three batters. In the top of the ninth, Santiago Casilla gave up a single and two walks, leading manager Bruce Bochy to bring in Jeremy Affeldt, who retired Oscar Taveras (in what would be his final at bat before his death in the offseason) to escape the jam.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals brought in Michael Wacha, who put two runners on before giving up a 3-run walk-off home run to Travis Ishikawa that clinched the pennant for the Giants, sending San Francisco to its third World Series appearance in five seasons. Ishikawa's home run was the first to send a National League team to the World Series since Giants' Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World in 1951. Ishikawa's home run was the first ever to end an NLCS and the fourth to end any LCS, after Chris Chambliss (1976 ALCS), Aaron Boone (2003 ALCS), and Magglio Ordonez (2006 ALCS). All previous pennant winners on a walk off home run, including Thomson's, lost the World Series. It was the first walk off of any kind to end the NLCS since an RBI single by San Francisco Giant center fielder Kenny Lofton in Game 5 of the 2002 NLCS.
|San Francisco Giants||5||2||5||0||1||4||1||1||4||1||24||42||0|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1||1||4||5||0||1||2||1||1||0||16||38||2|
|Total attendance: 222,543 Average attendance: 44,509|
The 2014 National League Division Series was two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2014 National League Championship Series. The Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals (seeded 1–3 based on record, respectively) and San Francisco Giants—played in two series. Fox Sports 1 carried most of the games, with two of the games on MLB Network.
These matchups were:
(1) Washington Nationals (East Division champion, 96–66) vs. (5) San Francisco Giants (Wild Card Winner, 88–74)
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers (West Division champion, 94–68) vs. (3) St. Louis Cardinals (Central Division champion, 90–72)This was the first postseason meeting between the Nationals and Giants. The Dodgers and Cardinals met in the postseason for the fifth time, with the Cardinals having won three of the first four matchups, including the previous year's NLCS which the Cardinals won 4 games to 2.Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is an American pay television channel that is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group, a unit of Fox Corporation. FS1 replaced the motorsports network Speed on August 17, 2013, at the same time that its companion channel Fox Sports 2 replaced Fuel TV. Both FS1 and FS2 absorbed most of the sports programming from its predecessors, as well as content from Fox Soccer, which was replaced by the entertainment-based channel FXX on September 2, 2013.
FS1 airs an array of live sporting events, including Major League Baseball, college sports (most notably Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 football, and Big East basketball), soccer matches (including Major League Soccer, Liga MX, Bundesliga, and Copa Libertadores), United States Golf Association championship events, UFC mixed martial arts, and a variety of motorsports events such as NASCAR, IMSA, Formula E, ARCA, and the NHRA. FS1 also features daily sports news, analysis and discussion programming as well as sports-related reality and documentary programs.
The network is based primarily from the Fox Sports division's headquarters in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, though the network also has significant broadcast operations in New York City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina (the latter of which had served as Speed's home base). As of January 2016, Fox Sports 1 is available to approximately 84,486,000 pay television households (72.583% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.Joe Panik
Joseph Matthew Panik (born October 30, 1990) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2014. Panik was an All-Star in 2015 and won a Gold Glove Award in 2016.League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award
The League Championship Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given in each of the two annual League Championship Series, for the American and National Leagues, to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance. The award has been presented in the National League since 1977, and in the American League since 1980. Dusty Baker won the inaugural award in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank White won the first American League award in 1980 with the Kansas City Royals. The eight Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include Roberto Alomar, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, and John Smoltz.
Three players have won the award twice: Steve Garvey (1978, 1984), Dave Stewart (1990, 1993), and Orel Hershiser (1988, 1995). Incidentally, all three of these players won their two awards with two different teams. Seven players have gone on to win the World Series MVP Award in the same season in which they won the LCS MVP—all of them in the National League. Three players have won while playing for the losing team in the series: Fred Lynn played for the 1982 California Angels; Mike Scott pitched for the 1986 Houston Astros; and Jeffrey Leonard played for the 1987 San Francisco Giants. Two players have shared the award in the same year three times, all in the National League; Rob Dibble and Randy Myers for the 1990 Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago Cubs' Jon Lester and Javier Báez in 2016, and Chris Taylor and Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
Garvey, Leonard, and Albert Pujols hit four home runs in their winning series—Garvey in his first win. Adam Kennedy won the 2002 ALCS MVP for hitting 3 home runs in 5 games; he had hit 7 during the regular season and hit 80 in his 14-year career. David Ortiz had 11 runs batted in (RBI) during the 2004 ALCS and Iván Rodríguez had 10 during the 2003 NLCS—the only two players to reach double-digit RBI in the series in the history of the award. From the pitcher's mound, Steve Avery threw 161⁄3 innings without giving up a run in the 1991 NLCS, and John Smoltz amassed 19 strikeouts the following year. Liván Hernández won the 1997 NLCS MVP after winning his only start and earning a win out of the bullpen in relief; he struck out 16 in 102⁄3 innings. Daniel Murphy won the 2015 NLCS MVP after hitting home runs in six consecutive games, setting a major league record.Liván Hernández (1997, NL) and his half-brother Orlando Hernández (1999, AL) are the only family pair to have won the award. The only rookies to have won the award are Mike Boddicker (1983, AL), Liván Hernández, and Michael Wacha (2013, NL).Matt Duffy
Matthew Michael Duffy (born January 15, 1991) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball at Long Beach State and was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2012. He bats and throws right-handed.Michael Morse
Michael John Morse (born March 22, 1982) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, first baseman and shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants between 2005 and 2017. In 2018, he began a second career as a baseball broadcaster.Oscar Taveras
Oscar Francisco Taveras (June 19, 1992 – October 26, 2014) was a Dominican–Canadian professional baseball outfielder who played one season for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). Known as "El Fenómeno" (Spanish for "The Phenomenon") in the Dominican Republic, the Cardinals signed him at age 16 in 2008 as an international amateur free agent and he made his MLB debut in 2014. Over six minor league seasons, he batted .321 with a .519 slugging percentage. He played all three outfield positions while spending most of the time in center field.
With prodigious batting skills, Taveras was a consensus top-five minor league prospect in 2013 and 2014. He elicited comparisons to former MLB outfielder and fellow Dominican Vladimir Guerrero – with a powerful and smooth, balanced stroke, Taveras successfully hit pitches well outside of the strike zone. Also similar to Guerrero, he possessed a strong and accurate throwing arm. The outfielder was the recipient of a litany of awards and won batting titles in two minor leagues, including hitting .386 for the Midwest League title in 2011. The next year, he won the Texas League batting title and was the Texas League Player of the Year and Cardinals organization Player of the Year.
On May 31, 2014, Taveras homered in his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants and went on to hit .239 in 80 regular season games, playing mostly right field. He also hit a game-tying home run in Game 2 of the 2014 National League Championship Series against the Giants. On October 26, 2014, he died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs.Travis Ishikawa
Travis Takashi Ishikawa (born September 24, 1983) is an Japanese-American former professional baseball first baseman who stands 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighs 220 pounds (100 kg). He bats and throws left-handed. He played for the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. Ishikawa has also filled in as an outfielder at times in his career.
Ishikawa grew up in Washington State. He was drafted in the 21st round of the 2002 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft by the San Francisco Giants out of high school. He made his Major League debut with the Giants in 2006. He started 2009 as the Giants' first baseman. On defense he was third in the National League (NL) in fielding percentage. In 2010, he won a World Series ring as the Giants won the 2010 World Series.
In 2012, Ishikawa signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2014, he made the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster. He was re-signed by his former team the San Francisco Giants in April and started for them in left field during the 2014 playoffs. On October 16, 2014, Ishikawa hit a walk-off three-run home run to give the Giants their third National League pennant in five years by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals.Yusmeiro Petit
Yusmeiro Alberto Petit (Spanish pronunciation: [ʝusˈmeiɾo peˈtit]; born November 22, 1984) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels. In 2014, Petit retired 46 consecutive batters to set a new Major League record. He throws right-handed. As of 2016, he is the only person ever to play on winning teams in both the Little League World Series and the Major League World Series.
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Website: Fox Sports - MLB News
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