10/20/12 12:30 AM ET
Did you know? NLCS Game 5: Giants 5, Cards 0
By Mike Fiammetta, Jake Kaplan and Jay Lee / MLB.com
The Giants are looking to become just the seventh team since 1985 (when the best-of-seven series was introduced) to win a League Championship Series after trailing, 3-1. It has not happened since 2007, when the Red Sox came back to beat the Indians.
San Francisco has won each of Barry Zito's last 13 starts, dating to the regular season. Zito is 8-0 over that span, surrendering two runs or fewer in eight of those outings.
Zito did not surrender a run in a postseason start for the first time in his career, becoming just the second Giant to do so in an NLCS start lasting more than seven innings. Dave Dravecky was the other Giant to accomplish the feat, in Game 2 of the 1987 NLCS, also a 5-0 win over the Cardinals.
The win was Zito's first in the postseason since his time with Oakland, when he led the A's to a Game 1 victory over the Twins in the 2006 American League Division Series. Zito is 5-3 in nine career postseason starts.
Friday's game was tied for the Giants' second-largest shutout in postseason history. They have two 9-0 postseason shutouts (Game 3 of the 1905 World Series and Game 2 of the 2010 World Series).
When scoring four or more runs in the 2012 postseason, the Giants are 4-1. They are 1-4 when scoring three runs or fewer.
St. Louis was shut out for the first time in the postseason since its 4-0 loss to Texas in Game 4 of last year's World Series.
San Francisco improved to 4-1 all time in NLCS Game 5s, its lone loss coming in 2010 against the Phillies.
The Cards snapped their three-game winning streak in NLCS Game 5s, losing such a game at home for the first time since 1996. Overall, they are now 4-6 in NLCS Game 5s.
David Freese's second-inning single gave him 38 hits in his first 100 career postseason at-bats, the most in Major League history.
Yadier Molina, who hit safely in each of the five NLCS games, moved into sole possession of second place in Cardinals history with his 62nd and 63rd career postseason hits. Only Albert Pujols (88) has more in the franchise's history.
Zito's fourth-inning bunt single that scored Gregor Blanco was only the second RBI bunt single by a pitcher in postseason history. The other was Allie Reynolds of the Yankees in Game 2 of the 1947 World Series. It was also the first bunt single for Zito in his 13-year career.
St. Louis' Lance Lynn became the first starter in postseason history to record six strikeouts in an outing lasting less than four innings.
Like his first career postseason start in Game 1 of the NLCS, Lynn lasted only 3 2/3 innings on Friday. He also surrendered four runs in both starts.
San Francisco's fourth-inning run that came after Lynn's error was its second go-ahead run of the series on an error by a St. Louis pitcher. Before that, no team had scored a single go-ahead run on a pitcher's error in the postseason since 1999.
The Giants are just the seventh team to win two games in the same postseason in which they struck out 12 or more times. They did it in Friday's NLCS Game 5 and their Game 3 win over the Reds in the NLDS. No team has done it three times in the same year.
Pablo Sandoval is the first Giants switch-hitter to homer in back-to-back postseason games and the first San Francisco player to homer from the left side of the plate in back-to-back games since Barry Bonds in the 2002 World Series against the Angels. Bonds homered in the first three games of that series.
Sandoval is hitting .407 (11-for-27) with three home runs and seven RBIs in the Giants' last seven games.
Zito threw 115 pitches on Friday night, which was more than in any start this season for Zito, as well as a career high for a postseason start. Zito threw a regular-season-high 114 pitches in a shutout against the Rockies in his first start of the season, and 114 was also his previous postseason high, set in Game 3 of the 2002 ALDS. Friday's pitch count was the highest for Zito since he threw 117 pitches against the Braves on Aug. 6, 2010.
The Giants' Brandon Crawford equaled his RBI output in this NLCS with a two-run single in the fourth. Crawford entered the day with two RBIs in this series and now has five postseason RBIs in his career.
The fourth inning was Lynn's worst in both his NLCS starts. He threw three no-hit frames in Games 1 and 5 before allowing a combined eight runs (five earned) in the fourth innings. Lynn lasted only 3 2/3 innings in each start.
Though Matt Holliday has played in 41 playoff games, Friday was just the second time he struck out three times in a game in his postseason career. The other occurred in 2007 when Holliday was with Colorado and it came was an 11-inning, 3-2 Rockies win over the Diamondbacks in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Carlos Beltran's stolen base in the second inning was his 10th in postseason play, tying him for sixth among active players and 19th all time.
Lynn grounded into a double play in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded to end the inning, becoming the first pitcher to ground into a double play with the bases loaded in the postseason since the Cubs' Rick Sutcliffe in Game 3 of the 1989 NLCS, also against the Giants.
Mike Fiammetta, Jake Kaplan and Jay Lee are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.