A pair of teams familiar with making historic comebacks will meet Sunday night in San Francisco when the Cardinals and Giants play Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park.
The Cardinals reached the NLCS by overcoming a 6-0 deficit in Friday's Game 5 in Washington, scoring four runs in the ninth inning to complete the biggest comeback in a winner-take-all game in baseball history.
The Giants made history themselves, becoming the first National League team to overcome an 0-2 deficit and win the Division Series. And their comeback was even more impressive because they lost the first two games in San Francisco before winning three straight games in Cincinnati to stun the Reds.
The series features the last two World Series winners and figures to be pretty evenly matched. Both teams rely on strong starting pitching and solid bullpens while the Cardinals have the edge offensively.
Here's a recap of the six regular season meetings between the two teams, which were split evenly at three wins each:
May 16 at AT&T Park Cardinals 4, Giants 1
Jaime Garcia had nine strikeouts and allowed just one run in 7 13 innings and David Freese hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh inning to help the visiting Cardinals win the opener of a short two-game series. Skip Schumaker added a pinch-hit, two-run double off Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, who allowed just one run until the seventh inning.
May 17 at AT&T Park Giants 7, Cardinals 5
The Cardinals jumped on Giants ace Matt Cain for four runs in the first three innings but committed three errors that led to three unearned runs. Leading 4-3 thanks to home runs from Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, the Cardinals gave up two runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to hand Adam Wainwright a tough-luck loss.
August 6 at Busch Stadium Cardinals 8, Giants 2
Jon Jay had four hits, Carlos Beltran homered, Matt Carpenter had a huge two-run, pinch-hit single off Matt Cain in the sixth inning and the Cardinals used a strong outing from Jake Westbrook to beat the Giants 8-2 in the first of a four-game series in St. Louis. Westbrook allowed two runs in six innings and the Cardinals again roughed up Cain for five runs on eight hits in 5 23 innings.
August 7 at Busch Stadium Giants 4, Cardinals 2
Lance Lynn gave up a three-run homer to Buster Posey in the first inning and lefty Barry Zito shut down the Cardinals in a 4-2 win for the visitors. Allen Craig hit two solo home runs off Zito, who allowed just two earned runs in 6 23 innings. Lynn finished with four earned runs in six innings, dropping to 13-5 on the year.
August 8 at Busch Stadium Giants 15, Cardinals 0
A Tyler Greene error opened the door for a five-run sixth inning and the Giants added four in the eighth and four in the ninth to hand the Cardinals their third worst shutout loss in franchise history. The Cardinals mustered just four hits for the game. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed just three hits in seven strong innings. Greene was traded to the Houston Astros the next morning.
August 9 at Busch Stadium Cardinals 3, Giants 1
Adam Wainwright allowed just one run in seven stellar innings and Carlos Beltran's two-run home run in the first inning proved to be enough for the Cardinals, who evened up the season series with San Francisco in their final meeting. Allen Craig added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Jason Motte finished it off for his 25th save.