SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 22: Lou Seal holds up a sign reading 'NL Champs' after the Giants defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Hot off the press!
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo, who got the last batter out to end the game, celebrates being front-page news. The Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-0, to win the National League pennant and will face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, with rain falling in San Francisco, talks about his team overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to win three games in a row to take the NLCS and earn a trip to the World Series. Bochy also managed the Giants to their 2010 World Series title.
San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval and his teammates are prepared for the champagne showers — with goggles. Sandoval, who went 1-for-4 Monday, hit .310 in the NLCS.
San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval and his teammates are champions of the National League and will play the Detroit Tigers Wednesday in Game 1 of the World Series.
Marco Scutaro — NLCS MVP
San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro celebrates after Game 7 of the NLCS Monday. The Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-0, and advance to the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Scutaro, who had 14 hits and batted .500 in the NLCS, was named the series MVP. The 36-year-old infielder was acquired July 27 from division rival Colorado Rockies.
Happy in the rain
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo (left) and Angel Pagan celebrate after Game 7 of the NLCS Monday. The Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-0, to win the National League pennant.
Hometown fans celebrate
San Francisco Giants' Angel Pagan celebrates with fans after the Game 7 win Monday. Pagan went 2-for-5 in the 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cards' long night
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina and Daniel Descalso watch from the dugout during the ninth inning Monday en route to their 9-0 loss to the Giants. The Cardinals led the NLCS series 3-1, but lost three consecutive games to lose the series 4-3.
Heading to the World Series
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo and catcher Buster Posey get the celebration started after winning Game 7.
One of those nights
St. Louis Cardinals' Pete Kozma can't handle a ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval during the seventh inning Monday.
Lohse's long walk
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse is taken out of the game during the third inning Monday.
Ice cream cone
San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro catches a ground ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina during the third inning of Game 7 of the NLCS Monday. The Giants won, 9-0, and Scutaro was named series MVP.
Ump, look out!
St. Louis Cardinals' Pete Kozma tries to throw over umpire Bill Miller but the Giants' Hunter Pence was safe at home.
Short and not sweet
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse got rocked by Giants hitters Monday and was taken out in the third inning of Game 7 of the NLCS in San Francisco. The Giants went on to win, 9-0, and advance to the World Series to face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Rare Cards' bright spot
St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran steals second as the Giants' Marco Scutaro can't handle the throw Monday during the first inning of Game 7 of the NLCS in San Francisco.
Get with the ...
Joel Gomez sells programs Monday before Game 7 of the NLCS between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals in San Francisco.
Sprinkles, no rain out
Fans try to stay dry while watching batting practice Monday before Game 7.
Giants get rolling
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (right) congratulates Gregor Blanco, who scored from second on a hit by Matt Cain during the second inning of Game 7 of the NLCS Monday in San Francisco. The Giants led 7-0 after three innings.
Bring on Game 7!
San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35), Angel Pagan (right) and Gregor Blanco celebrate after beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, in Game 6 of the NLCS Sunday in San Francisco. The Giants' win ties the series 3-3, forcing a Game 7 on Monday to decide who goes to the World Series.
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo reacts after the final out is made Sunday in Game 6 of the NLCS. The Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, to tie the series at 3-3, so the two teams will play for all the NL marbles on Monday.
Sad looks, but they win
Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (second from left) allowed four hits and one run through seven innings Sunday en route to San Francisco's 6-1 win over the Cards in Game 6. Vogelsong didn't allow a hit until Daniel Descalso's broken-bat single with two outs in the fifth.
Error on Blanco
San Francisco Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco (left) is unable to catch a ball hit by the Cardinals' Pete Kozma (not pictured) during the seventh inning Sunday. Blanco was given an error and Kozma wound up on second base on the play.
Jay makes nice catch
The Cardinals' Jon Jay makes a catch of a ball hit by the Giants' Marco Scutaro Sunday in San Francisco. The Giants, playing at home, have come back from the brink of elimination to force a Game 7 Monday in the NLCS.
The San Francisco Giants' mascot Lou Seal watches from left field during the second inning of Game 6 Sunday.
A fan perched on the mast of a boat in McCovey's Cove watches the Giants stave off elimination by beating the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday in Game 6 of the NLCS.
Just a typical Sunday in San Francisco. Will this fan get Monday off of work to see if the Giants can win Game 7 of the NLCS and head to the World Series?
Best. Baseball. Hat. EVER
Even in a city known for eccentricity, actress Misa Malone manages to stand out while singing 'God Bless America' during the seventh-inning stretch Sunday in San Francisco.
St. Louis Cardinals' second baseman Daniel Descalso can't come up with a single hit by San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval Sunday during the second inning of Game 6 of the NLCS in San Francisco.
Sandoval gets props
San Francisco Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly congratulates Pablo Sandoval after Sandoval's RBI single Sunday during the second inning of Game 6 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals in San Francisco.
St. Louis Cardinals' Daniel Descalso shows his displeasure after striking out Sunday during the second inning of Game 6 of the NLCS.
Giants fan's lament
Fans implore the San Francisco Giants to stay alive Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.
Planes fly over AT&T Park Sunday before Game 6 of the NLCS between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals in San Francisco.
Giants closer Sergio Romo and catcher Buster Posey celebrate after their team's 5-0 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday night. San Francisco forced a Game 6 in the Bay Area on Sunday night. The Cards lead the series 3-2.
Walking on air
Giants outfielder Angel Pagan goes airborne in celebration of San Francisco extending its postseason life with a 5-0 win in St. Louis in Game 5 of the NLCS.
Making his point
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval embellishes his home-run trot in the eighth inning Friday.
Bump and run
The Giants' Pablo Sandoval runs into Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma in the fourth inning Friday night after St. Louis pitcher Lance Lynn threw wildly toward second base trying to nail the runner. It was a key play in the Giants' four-run fourth.
Footnote to victory
Giants starter Barry Zito beats out a fourth-inning bunt single for an RBI on Friday night, as Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig stretches for the throw. But Zito made bigger news with his stellar 7 2/3 innings of shutout — and, for San Francisco, life-saving — ball.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval blows a bubble as he fields a ball hit by the Cardinals' Jon Jay during the fifth inning Friday.
Out of reach
Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig can't come up with a foul ball hit by San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval in the eighth inning Friday.
Cardinals starter and loser Lance Lynn breaks his bat as he hits into a double play during the second inning Friday — a missed scoring opportunity that helped deny St. Louis the NL pennant clincher. The Cards still lead the NLCS 3-2 heading into Sunday's Game 6 in San Francisco.
The Giants' Gregor Blanco makes it back to first on a pickoff try Friday, as Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig takes the throw.
Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn stretches as the Budweiser Clydesdales run around the warning track Friday before Game 5 of the NLCS in St. Louis.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Hunter Pence cuts the Cards' lead in half with this solo shot in the second inning.
Keep on moving
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan hustles around second base for a two-out triple in the third inning. But San Francisco did not capitalize, stranding Pagan on third base.
Twice as nice
Matt Carpenter rips a fifth-inning double and later scored one of the Cardinals' two runs in the frame.
Back, back, back ...
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan robs Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina of extra bases by making this leaping catch in the third inning.
Let's get it started
Allen Craig hits a sacrifice fly to score Matt Carpenter, helping the Cardinals jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Still 'The Man'
Giants manager Bruce Bochy greets Cardinals legend Stan Musial before Game 4. Musial finished his Hall of Fame career with 475 home runs and a .331 career batting average.
Former Giants ace Tim Lincecum had another rough outing as a starter, giving up six hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
First things first
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday drives in the first run of the game with this RBI single in the first, helping St. Louis take control early.
The Giants had no answer for Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who allowed one earned run in seven innings and struck out five.
High-fives all around
St. Louis celebrates a 3-1 victory over visiting San Francisco in Game 3 of the NLCS on Wednesday. The win gives the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. There was a 3-hour, 28-minute rain delay, which started in the bottom of the seventh with the Cardinals ahead 3-1. Matt Carpenter's two-run homer in the third inning was the difference.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and reliever Jason Motte have their own personal victory handshake after the Game 3 win over the Giants. Despite being outhit 9-6, St. Louis claimed the two-run decision.
Closing the door
St. Louis reliever Jason Motte pitched the final two innings for his second save of the NLCS. He didn't allow a San Francisco baserunner in wrapping up the Game 3 victory.
Run for cover
St. Louis center fielder Matt Carpenter (13), who gave the Cardinals a one-run lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third, heads to the clubhouse during Game 3's rain delay. The Cardinals added a run in the seventh for a 3-1 lead before the umpires called for the tarp.
Where's Rihanna ...
... to sing her "Umbrella" song? Meanwhile, a fan in St. Louis, Mo., seems to have decided it might be wiser to head for cover during the Game 3 rain delay at Busch Stadium. The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with St. Louis runners on second and third.
San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford turns a first-inning double play as St. Louis' Jon Jay slides into second base. Jay, the Cardinals leadoff hitter, reached base when he was hit by the second pitch thrown from Matt Cain. Carlos Beltran hit into the double play and strained his left knee, forcing him to be replaced by Matt Carpenter.
The bat of San Francisco's Gregor Blanco splits into two pieces on a foul ball in the top of the sixth inning. Blanco walked in the fourth with one out, but was stranded at third base with the Giants trailing 2-1.
San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval dives for a fifth-inning grounder before throwing out St. Louis pitcher Kyle Lohse at first base. Sandoval, who had two hits before the rain delay, gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with an RBI groundout in the top of the third.
Did this St. Louis fan know that Matt Carpenter, an injury replacement at the start of the second inning, would even play — and give the home team a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the third? Maybe the fan also knows who will win this NLCS against the Giants?
View of St. Louis
The Giants (third-base line) and Cardinals (first-base line) during player introductions at Busch Stadium before the start of Game 3 of the NLCS, which is tied at one game apiece. The skyline, which includes the famous Gateway Arch, is in the background.
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (left), left fielder Gregor Blanco (center), and right fielder Hunter Pence (right) celebrate their 7-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Monday in Game 2 of the NLCS at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The series, now tied 1-1, continues with Game 3 Wednesday in St. Louis.
Helping his own cause
St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter singles in a run during the second inning of Game 2 of the NLCS Monday against the Giants in San Francisco. On the mound, Carpenter allowed five runs (two earned) and six hits in four innings and took the loss.
Another missed call?
St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig (21) and Daniel Descalso (33) argue that San Francisco Giants' Gregor Blanco was tagged out Monday during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS, won by the Giants, 7-1. Blanco was already around second base when a fly ball was caught, so he had a journey back to first base. Replays appeared to show he was tagged out, but the umpire called him safe.
Angel Pagan (16) and Gregor Blanco (7) of the San Francisco Giants celebrate scoring in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. The Giants beat the Cardinals, 7-1, evening the series at 1-1.
Ready for instant replay?
Gregor Blanco of the San Francisco Giants, trying to get back to first base on a caught fly ball, is tagged by Allen Craig of the St. Louis Cardinals — but the umpire missed it and called Blanco safe. The Giants won the game, 7-1, and the NLCS is now tied, 1-1.
Belt's backhand catch
San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt makes a nice catch of a foul ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina Monday during the third inning of Game 2 of the NLCS in San Francisco.
San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro grimaces as his leg is caught under a hard-sliding St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday on a double play attempt Monday during the first inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. Scutaro, shaken up on the play, took a few minutes to gather himself and stayed in the game, but came out later. Replays showed Scutaro was lucky to avoid a serious injury.
St. Louis Cardinals first base coach Chris Maloney has a little fun during batting practice Monday before Game 2 against the Giants in San Francisco. Maloney, a former minor-league player, was hired as a big-league coach in 2011 after managing for years in the minors.
BP by the Bay
Skip Schumaker of the St. Louis Cardinals warms up during batting practice Monday prior to Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants in San Francisco. The Cardinals lead the series, 1-0.
Tools of the trade
Bats and helmets for the St. Louis Cardinals sit ready prior to Monday's Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
St. Louis Cardinals' Pete Kozma warms up before Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants Monday in San Francisco.
St. Louis scores first in Game 1 of the NLCS on a two-run homer by David Freese (right) in the top of the second inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday. Freese, last year's NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, only had one hit in the opener, but it sparked the Cards to a 6-4 victory.
Rounding the bases
Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo congratulates David Freese as the third baseman heads for home after his two-run shot. Freese hit 20 homers with 79 RBI, while batting .293 in the regular season.
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma collides into the back of third baseman David Freese, who catches a foul pop from San Francisco's Angel Pagan to end the third inning. At the plate, Kozma and Freese each had one hit, but knocked in half of the Cardinals' six runs.
St. Louis rookie Pete Kozma steals third as San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval covers the bag in the fourth inning. Kozma, who doubled in the Cards' third run before his stolen base, finished 1-for-4 in the two-run win.
Make it a half dozen
Slugger Carlos Beltran (3) is congratulated by his St. Louis teammates after hitting a two-run, two-out blast for a 6-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Beltran's homer, his only hit of the night, knocked San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner out of the game.
Like his Giants counterpart, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn also doesn't make it out of the fourth as he is pulled with two outs in the inning. Lynn yielded four runs on five hits and wasn't involved in the decision. San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner also pitched just 3 2/3 innings, but he took the loss after serving up six runs on eight hits.
Eye on the ball
Catcher Buster Posey catches a foul pop hit by St. Louis' Matt Holliday, ending the Cardinals' three-run fourth inning. Posey, San Francisco's Game 5 hero in the NLDS, failed to get a hit in the NLCS opener, going 0-for-3 ... but remember, these Giants came back from a 2-0 deficit in the last series.
San Francisco left fielder Gregor Blanco makes a diving snag of Skip Schumaker's low liner for the final out of the top of the sixth. It was Schumaker's only at-bat in Game 1 as he pinch hit for St. Louis reliever Marc Rzepczynski. Blanco hit a two-run triple in the fourth, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cards' early 6-0 lead.
The Freak in relief
San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, who was removed from the rotation for the postseason, is fired up after inducing St. Louis' David Freese to hit into an inning-ending double play in the top of the fifth. Lincecum tossed two hitless, scoreless innings — Freese reached on a walk — to keep the Giants within striking distance.
Just a bit inside
San Francisco's No. 3 hitter Pablo Sandoval gets out of the way of a Lance Lynn pitch during the first inning. Sandoval, who finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the loss, was one of two starting position players in the Giants starting lineup who went hitless — cleanup hitter Buster Posey (0-for-3) was the other.
A huge American flag covers most of the AT&T Park outfield during the national anthem before Game 1 of the 2012 NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Managers Bruce Bochy (15) of the Giants and Mike Matheny (22) of the Cardinals shake hands during introductions of Game 1 of the NLCS. Matheny is in his first year as St. Louis' skipper, while Bochy is at the helm of a major league team for an 18th season, his sixth in San Francisco after 12 seasons with the San Diego Padres.
Fun in the dugout
San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval (left), Jose Mijares (right) and Hector Sanchez enjoy a break from batting practice before the opener of the NLCS against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park.