How Giants have (impressively) fared in recent winner-take-all games

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after hitting a two-run home run off Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (not pictured) during the first inning of Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 08, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Giants had an opportunity to close out rival Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night but instead fell 7-2 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

San Francisco must now go back home to Oracle Park for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night.

Winner advances to the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.

Loser goes home.

The Giants are no stranger to winner-take-all games, having played five in the last 10 years.

Although, catcher Buster Posey is only one of the three current Giants to play in all five. The others are shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt.

Here is how the Giants have fared in their last five elimination games: an impressive 5-0.

A common theme in these games has been stellar pitching (mostly thanks to Madison Bumgarner) with Posey behind the plate.

2012 National League Division Series Game 5

After dropping the first two games at home in then-AT&T Park, the Giants were faced with the challenge of having to win three straight games on the road against the Cincinnati Reds.

San Francisco managed to win the first two in Cincinnati, but then came the winner-take-all Game 5.

The Giants walked away with a 6-4 win — highlighted by a fifth-inning grand slam by Posey — to advance to the NLCS. Pitcher Matt Cain earned the win by striking out five and giving three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Posey’s grand slam was part of a six-run inning that wound up being the only inning in which the Giants scored.

2012 National League Championship Series Game 7

Once again, the Giants fell 3-1 down to the St. Louis Cardinals and needed to win three straight games to advance.

And once again, Cain was tasked with starting pitching duties and delivered.

With the help of Cain’s 5 2/3 shutout innings, the Giants won 9-0 to complete the series comeback in front of their home crowd.

Fans at the ballpark likely remember the pouring rain when NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro caught the final out.

2014 NL Wild Card Game

San Francisco traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in front of over 40,000 screaming fans, according to Baseball Reference.

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner silenced the crowd all night by striking out 10 en route to a four-hit complete-game shutout — securing an 8-0 win over the Pirates.

This was Bumgarner’s one of many dominating postseason performances for the Giants.

2014 World Series Game 7

This game was seemingly the peak of Bumgarner’s October legend.

After throwing a complete-game shutout in Game 5, Bumgarner came back on two days’ rest to do something that will likely never be done again in postseason history.

The World Series MVP threw five shutout innings out of the bullpen to seal the 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals and secure San Francisco’s third World Series title in a five-year span.

2016 National League Wild Card Game

It was a pitchers’ duel between Bumgarner and the New York Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard at Citi Field.

Suprise, Bumgarner won the duel by pitching another complete-game shutout compared to Syndergaard’s 10 strikeouts in seven shutout innings.

Bumgarner set a record of 23 consecutive scoreless innings in winner-take-all games, according to Baseball Reference.

The Giants no longer have Bumgarner (now an Arizona Diamondback) to rely on in high-pressure games.

Logan Webb will start Game 5 for the Giants Thursday night and hopes to deliver a Bumgarner-esque performance.

Webb pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out 10 in the Giants’ Game 1 win.

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