It was the Shot That Shook the Bay.
Travis Ishikawa hit the first homer to end an NL Championship Series, a three-run drive that sent San Francisco to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 on Thursday night.
These every-other-year Giants will face the Royals in an all wild-card World Series that begins Tuesday night in Kansas City.
A journeyman who began the season with Pittsburgh, Ishikawa connected for the first game-ending home run that sent the Giants into the World Series since perhaps the most famous drive in baseball history — Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in a 1951 playoff.
“It’s gratifying,” Ishikawa said. “If there’s an organization I’d want to do it for, it would be this one.”
A role player during the Giants’ World Series win in 2010, Ishikawa was with Milwaukee in 2012 when San Francisco won another championship.
Pablo Sandoval singled to start the ninth inning against Michael Wacha, making his first appearance of the postseason for the Cardinals. After an out, Brandon Belt walked to bring up Ishikawa, who drove a 2-0 pitch into the elevated seats in right field to set off an orange towel-waving frenzied celebration.
“These guys have been through it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “They have been battle-tested and they know how to handle themselves on this type of stage, and then add to that the kids that we brought up, and then Ishikawa.”
“I mean, what a great story,” Bochy said.
Ishikawa knew right away on his first career postseason homer, raising his right arm into the air as he watched his ball sail into the seats. He emphatically threw his helmet down to the dirt in triumph and joined his jubilant teammates at home plate as fireworks shot off from the center field scoreboard.
Pinch hitter Michael Morse homered leading off the eighth against Pat Neshek, who replaced Adam Wainwright to start the inning, to tie it 3-all.
Morse — relegated to a reserve role because of a lengthy oblique injury — was batting for Madison Bumgarner, crowned NLCS MVP.
“It’s unbelievable,” Morse said. “This team has been on the same page since the beginning.”
After taking a 3-1 lead in the series on wild throws the past two days, the Giants used the long ball to advance to their third Series in five years by knocking out the defending NL champions.
Rookie Joe Panik hit a two-run drive in the third inning off Wainwright for the Giants’ first homer in seven games.
“Just a gutty effort through all this and I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. They just don’t stop fighting,” Bochy said.
Click here for more.