EAST VILLAGE (PIX11) – Before Travis Ishikawa’s home run could even land in the right field stands, one tightly-packed bar in New York City had already erupted in ecstatic screams, hugs and high fives.
Finnerty’s was standing room-only an hour before the 8 p.m. game as San Francisco fans rushed from their day jobs to the Bay Area sports mecca.
By the time Ishikawa walked up to the plate in the 9th inning, there was a crowd on 2nd Avenue watching through the windows.
The atmosphere was electric as confident fans who witnessed the Giants win in 2010 and 2012 sensed the Cardinals, down three games to one, wouldn’t be taking the series back to St. Louis.
Unlike previous games in which the Giants cobbled together victories, squeezing just enough runs from a combination of walks, defensive errors and the occasional single, their first long ball came early when second baseman Joe Panik crushed a two-run home run to right.
The Cardinals battled back, and for the second straight game, took a one-run lead over the Giants — but the energy on the field and in the dugout belonged to San Francisco.
Then left fielder Michael Morse, just back from injury, followed with a blast to left in the eighth that tied the score, setting up Travis Ishikawa.
Ishikawa, 31, connected with a Michael Wacha pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants, their fans and a group of orange-and-black clad faithful in New York City had their arms in the air and their mouths open in a victorious yell.
“The Giants have won the pennant! And Travis Ishikawa is being clobbered by his teammates as he comes down the third baseline,” announcer Jon Miller said, channeling Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” the 1951 pennant-winning home run over the Dodgers, famously called by Russ Hodges.