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Hunter Strickland helps propel Giants to NLCS

By Greg Parrott Hunter Strickland has played a big part in the San Francisco Giant’s run to the National League Championship Series. Strickland was called up on Sept. 1 and has contributed to the Giants games in the playoffs. Against the Washington Nationals, Strickland earned a save and a win in the four game series. Strickland recorded the save in the longest (by time, tied for the longest in innings) playoff game in Major League history, the second game in the 2014 National League Division Series. The Giants defeated the Nationals 2-1 in 18 innings. Strickland’s win came in the game four clincher, beating Washington 3-2. The National’s right fielder Bryce Harper took Strickland deep twice to win the battle with Strickland but the Giants won the war as they advanced to the NLCS. In game one of the NLCS, Madison Bumgarner pitched a great game for a 3-0 win. Strickland did not see time in that game. In game two on Sunday night the game exchanged leads several times. Strickland came in on relief in the bottom of the seventh with Jon Jay on first and two outs. After a couple of pitches to Matt Holliday, Strickland picked off Jay at first in a run down for out three. In the bottom of the eight, Strickland returned to the mound and got a fly out by Holliday for out one. The next batter was Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams. Adams took several off speed and curve balls as he was waiting for the fast ball. Strickland delivered a 97 mile per hour inside fast ball Adams sent to the right field seats for a 4-3 lead. Strickland had given up four home runs in the playoffs, all to left-handers. In the top of the ninth inning the Giants plated the tying run on a wild pitch by Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal. In the bottom half of the ninth, Kolton Wong delivered a walk off home run off Sergio Romo to give them a 5-4 win and even the series at 1-1. The series now goes back to San Francisco for three games to be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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