Big League Stew - MLB

It sometimes wasn't pretty and it was by no means conventional, but the biggest performance of NLCS Game 6 goes to the five-headed monster that came out of the San Francisco Giants bullpen to seal the team's first National League pennant since 2002.

Manager Bruce Bochy used five pitchers — three relievers and two starters — in a marathon emergency situation after starter Jonathan Sanchez(notes) was pulled with no outs in the third after his run-in with Chase Utley. And while relying on your bullpen for seven innings in a clinching situation on the road might be a recipe for disaster on most teams, the Giants' firemen responded with seven scoreless innings in a 3-2 victory over the Phillies.

The biblical chain of relief went like this: Jeremy Affeldt(notes) begat Madison Bumgarner(notes), who begat Javier Lopez(notes), who begat Tim Lincecum(notes), who begat usual closer Brian Wilson(notes). That last guy Wilson — the guy with the biblical beard — used a five-out save to slam the door and caught Ryan Howard(notes) looking to start the party in the visitor's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.

Lincecum was by far the least effective of the five, giving up consecutive singles to Shane Victorino(notes) and Raul Ibanez(notes) after striking out Jayson Werth(notes) to start the eighth inning.

The remaining four, however, all had their moments:

• Affeldt recorded three outs in the third after inheriting two runners from Sanchez. He finished his appearance with a 1-2-3 fourth.

• Bumgarner, a lefthanded starter who needed the bullpen's help in Game 4, returned the favor in Game 6 and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth. He also allowed a leadoff double by Ibanez to go for naught in the sixth.

• Lopez went 1-2-3 in the seventh and struck out Ryan Howard to end the inning. He was the fourth-straight lefthander to be used by Bochy.

• And last, but not least, Wilson induced an inning-ending double play from Carlos Ruiz(notes) and then withstood two of his own walks in the ninth to clinch the pennant and end a team relief effort for the ages.

"It was delicious," Wilson said

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