Giants top Nationals in NLDS Game 4, move on to NLCS matchup with the Cardinals

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Ryan Vogelsong pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball and the Giants eked out three runs against lefty Gio Gonzalez and the Washington bullpen as San Francisco closed out the NLDS on Tuesday night with a 3-2 Game 4 victory. They’ll now move on to an National League Championship Series matchup with the Cardinals, and for the fifth straight season one of those teams will be heading to the World Series.

The Nationals put up a good fight to try to force a Game 5 back in Washington, D.C. — Bryce Harper launched a game-tying solo splash shot to McCovey Cove in the top of the seventh and then drew a walk in the top of the ninth to represent the tying run — but Giants closer Santiago Casilla ultimately shut the door.

Hunter Pence’s sixth-inning catch against the wall to rob Jayson Werth of an extra-base hit was a huge moment given how close the game remained throughout, and it’ll provide a lasting image of this NLDS win.

The Giants have won seven straight postseason series dating back to 2012. They’ve taken the long road this year, starting with a Wild Card Game victory in Pittsburgh, but now they’re just four wins away from another Fall Classic. Ace Madison Bumgarner will be ready to rock for Game 1 on Saturday at Busch Stadium.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.