Ryan Vogelsong toed the slab for the NL Wild Card champions, looking to avoid a game 5 back in D.C. Vogelsong pitched well after being spotted a 2-0 lead by his offense. He gave up just 1 run in the 5th, and pitched 2 outs in to the 6th. The Nationals got only 2 hits off of the left-hander, who struck out 4 and walked 2.
The Giants scored 2 in the second off of struggling left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez gave up 3 consecutive singles to load the bases, and would walk in the first run of the game. A Joe Panik groundout scored the second run, but a frustrated Gonzalez would get out of the inning one batter later. The left-hander would last just 4 innings, giving up those 2 runs on 4 hits, while walking and striking out just 1.
Bryce Harper would keep his red-hot series alive by single handily tying the game at 2. It began in the 6th when Harper doubled in Ian Desmond to cut their deficit in half. The young outfield start would then connect with his 3rd homerun of the series, into McCovey Cove on a fly to tie the game at 2 apiece in the 7th.
The Nationals' inability to find the K-zone would come back to bite them again in the 7th. After back-to-back single from Joe Panik and Buster Posey, pitcher Aaron Barrett walked Hunter Pence to load the bases. Pablo Sandoval came up looking to break the game open, but was not given the chance to, when a wild pitch scored Panik from 3rd.
That gave the Giants a 3-2 lead, and the plan was to intentionally walk Sandoval. The next pitch would sail to the backstop, but bounce right back to catcher Wilson Ramos who would flip to Barrett to nab Posey at the plate. An umpire review would keep the call as is, after questions about the collision rule applied to catchers.
That lead would hold for 2 more innings, as Giants' closer Santiago Casilla avenged a Bryce Harper walk to shut down the Nats, and the series. The Giants will begin their NLCS rematch with the Cardinals in St. Louis this Saturday on FOX. The Cardinals took last year's NLCS 4-2 in 6 games, before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. The Giants have yet to announce a Game 1 starter, but know they will face Cardinals' ace Adam Wainwright Saturday night.