Giants shut out the Cardinals 3-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS

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There was no late rally from the Cardinals this time, as the Giants were able to secure a shutout victory in the opening match of the NLCS on Saturday night. Madison Bumgarner continued his run of post-season dominance, firing 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla got the final four outs with ease to seal the deal.

The Giants got to Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright early, scoring twice in the second inning and once more in the third inning. Wainwright, for the second time in two post-season starts this year, could not escape the fifth inning. In 4 2/3 innings, Wainwright allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out two. It will be interesting to hear if Wainwright’s elbow bothered him any, as he threw a very small percentage of fastballs (24 of 98 pitches, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports).

Bumgarner got into trouble only once, when the Cardinals put two base runners on with one out and moved both into scoring position with two outs. The lefty appeared to balk during an at-bat against pinch-hitter Tony Cruz, but there was no call and he was able to retire Cruz on strikes to end the threat.

Pablo Sandoval had an excellent night at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. Bumgarner set and extended a major league record, as he is now up to 26 2/3 scoreless innings on the road in the post-season, dating back to 2010.

Game 2 continues on Sunday night as Giants right-hander Jake Peavy will oppose Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.