St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants
NLCS Game 7
8:00 p.m. EST
The phrase "win or go home" has become all too familiar to both the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, the last two World Series champions.
After quickly falling into an 0-2 hole in the Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants won three straight elimination games on the road just to reach the NLCS. With their backs against the wall once again after falling behind the Cardinals 3-1, the Giants have won two in a row to force a decisive Game 7.
As for the Cardinals, who won last year's World Series in seven games, they've walked the tightrope to reach this point as well. The Redbirds seemed doomed to also-ran status against the Washington Nationals in the other NLDS but pulled off a stunning turnaround to set up this matchup with the Giants. Trailing by two runs and down to their last strike (twice), the Cardinals rallied back to score four runs in the ninth and beat the Nats in D.C. in Game 5. It was the biggest comeback ever in a winner-take-all postseason game, according to STATS LLC.
With the National League pennant on the line, the Cardinals will send out arguably their most consistent pitcher to the mound at AT&T Park, Kyle Loshe. The righty posted a 16-3 record in the regular season and shut down the Giants in Game 3, only allowing one earned run through 5.2 innings. The Giants will counter with ace Matt Cain, who has struggled somewhat during the postseason with a 1-2 record and 4.67 ERA.
Will San Francisco defy the odds again to clinch the pennant? Or will the Cardinals continue their magical run and return to the World Series?
SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE UPDATES THROUGHOUT GAME 7
To bring some local flavor to our Game 7 live blog, HuffPost Sports has invited our Infographic Design Editor Chris Spurlock, who was born and raised about 30 miles west of St. Louis, to chime in on behalf of Cardinals fans and Chris Anderson, a Senior Editor at HuffPost, to represent Giants fans.
|@ CSNBaggs : Scutaro, asked about besting Holliday: "How you like me NOW?"|
|@ MLB : Dress like a Giant and celebrate San Francisco's trip to the #WorldSeries with authentic NL champs gear: http://t.co/FbvtHsNJ|
|@ AlexPavlovic : Wilson on Pence's big hit: "In golf that's a two-stroke penalty."|
CS: Thanks to everyone for hanging out with us and following along. Definitely a roller coaster of a week. Props to CA and his Giants. Couldn't happen to a better fan base!
|@ AlexPavlovic : Bochy ran out to find Scutaro, who at 36 is going to play in the World Series for first time.|
CA: Props to my counterpart CS for sticking with it through a tough game for a Cards fan. Truly represented his fans and his city in a classy way.
|@ AlexPavlovic : The Giants are the first team in MLB history to win six elimination games en route to the World Series.|
|@ LangoschMLB : Several in #StLCards dugout tipping their caps to #SFGiants as they celebrate in the pouring rain.|
|@ MLB : GIANT COMEBACK: @SFGiants trounce @Cardinals 9-0 in #Game7, completing historic rally from 3-1 #NLCS deficit. @Tigers await in #WorldSeries.|
Holliday flies out to 2B Scutaro and the Giants are going to the World Series.
CS: Well folks, it was fun while it lasted. Congrats to the Giants on another crazy comeback, and good luck to both clubs in the World Series.
CA: WORLD SERIES! Giants going to the World Series! A wet and rainy end to an amazing NLCS. Props to the Cards and their fans. It isn't easy to come back from 1 - 3 down to win it, much less against this team.
But its time for celebration.
Runners advance on a wild pitch. The field looks ridiculous.
|@ AdamMcCalvy : I'm no groundskeeper, but I don't think the quick dry stuff works as well when it's absolutely pouring rain.|
|@ AlexPavlovic : They're coming out to fix the mound, but no way they're stopping this now.|
CA: There better not be a rain deleay at this point. FINISH IT! Play through a hurricane.
Lopez walks Beltran. Men on first and second. Romo is coming in.
With the rain pouring, Lopez strikes out Jay swinging. 1 MORE OUT.
Schumaker grounds out to 2B Scutaro who gets the force out at second. 1 out. Man on first.
|@ SI_JimTrotter : wish i were in the rain. #sfgiants|
CS: So we're going to lose IN THE RAIN, TOO? Rough day.
Lopez walks Kozma to lead off the ninth. Romo is warming up.
|@ willbrinson : Giants in elimination games > Cardinals on last strikes|
CA: Lopez still in. Romo is OK with that. Romo seal of approval.
Lopez is in to pitch the 9th. It's raining harder now. 3 more outs.
|@ CSNBaggs : That was 98 mph down and in to Brandon Belt, and he put it over the steam cannons. Wow.|
CS: Apologies to fans who hoped to see a competitive Game 7. This, I think, is the worst possible outcome for baseball fans. Nobody wants to see a drubbing, no matter your affiliation.