Game three of the NLCS was one of the most pivotal games of the season for both the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were able to fight back after a 4-0 defecit before falling to the Giants by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings. Tim Hudson started the game for the Giants and John Lackey for the Cardinals.
The Giants lept out to an early lead. In the bottom of the first, Ishakawa hit a bases clearing double that added to a one run lead that put San Francisco up 4-0. Quite the eight ball to be behind, and surprising for an October veteran like Lackey.
St. Louis needed to answer quickly to get the momentum back. Kolten Wong would double with two outs in the top of the second, but the Cardinals could not get him in. A.J. Pierzynski, who hasn't played much recently, struck out to end the inning, and looked completely lost at the plate in doing so.
John Lackey started to settle in, but maybe too little too late. The next few innings he mowed through the San Francisco line up. He finally started getting his pitches down and causing the Giants to hit the ball on the ground.
The Cardinals threatened in the top of the fourth getting the first two hitters on. John Jay and Matt Holliday both ripped singles into left field. Matt Adams would fly out for the first out. Jhonny Peralta would then strike out, but Kolten Wong would get St. Louis back into the thick of things with a bases clearing triple. Wong brought the Cardinals closer as they only trailed 4-2 after his triple.
In the top of the sixth St. Louis creeped even closer. After Jon Jay got on again with a lead-off single, he moved to third on two ground outs by Holliday and Adams. Peralta, who's struggled all October, came up huge with a single that scored Jay to make it only a one run lead for the Giants.
The top of seventh brought more fireworks. A.J. Pierzynski flied deep to left for the first out, but Randall Grichuk drilled a rocket into the left field stands to tie the game at 4-4. Tim Hudson would leave the game for Jeremy Affeldt in relief.
Marco Gonzales came in for the bottom of the seventh and mowed down the Giants in order. Gonzales, a starter by trade, has pitched incredibly out of the bullpen this post season.
All the remaining action waited until the bottom of the 10th. Brandon Crawford walked with nobody out to lead off the inning. After trying to bunt, Juan Perez was forced to swing away, and singled into left. Gregory Blanco ,who has struggled mightily all postseason, came up to bunt the two runners over. Reliever Randy Choate grabbed the bunt, and sailed the throw into the right field bullpen. Crawford raced in to score, making it a walkoff win for the Giants.
The Giants now lead the series 2-1 with games four and five coming up in San Francisco. The Cardinals have to get at least one win in San Francisco, but game four really feels like a must-win.
Game four is at 8:07 p.m. ET with Shelby Miller going for the Cardinals. He'll face Ryan Vogelsong, who has been amazing in the postseason in his career. If St. Louis can get the win, the series is there for the taking. If not, they'll face Madison Bumgarner in an elimination game on the road.