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Wild Card Teams, Giants And Royals, To Meet In World Series


To borrow from one of the most-storied calls in baseball history, the Giants win the pennant. Last night in San Francisco, leftfielder Travis Ishikawa blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Giants a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. That blast cinched the National League Championship and sent the Giants into the World Series for the third time in five years. And they'll face an equally red-hot Kansas City Royals team. The series starts next Tuesday. Joining me now is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Good morning, Tom.


WERTHEIMER: So it was a great series between the Giants and the Cardinals. San Francisco was resilient throughout, scratching over runs any which way. But last night's game didn't really follow the script, do you think?

GOLDMAN: It did not. It was a Giants power surge. Last night's three home runs, including Travis Ishikawa's, their first three of the series. But you could argue the Giants won in the top of the ninth inning when the Cardinals were up to bat. Now, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy is one of the best. He's made smart moves throughout the postseason. In the top of the ninth, the score tied 3-3, Giants closing pitcher, Santiago Casilla, suddenly was struggling. He loads the bases. Bochy takes him out and brings in Jeremy Affeldt, appearing in his fourth-straight game, and he gets the St. Louis batter to ground-it-out and ends the inning. So that sets up the big bottom-of-the-ninth finish for the Giants.

WERTHEIMER: So let's turn to college football, Tom. Another big weekend of games, none bigger than number-five Notre Dame against number-two Florida State and as often seems with FSU - controversy.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, several Las Vegas sports books took the Florida State-Notre Dame game off the board this week, meaning it's unavailable to bet, and that's because of the possibility that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the guy who can't seem to stay out of trouble, could be suspended for getting paid for autographs. That's an NCAA rules violation. He told his coach he hadn't been paid, you know, but in fact this story actually made him a sympathetic character, something he has not been because he appeared to be the latest elite college athlete who generates all this money for his school and coach and conference and, yes, for gamblers, and here was the possibility of suspending him because he might've tried to get some of that money for himself.

WERTHEIMER: Of course he does have a more serious issue that he's dealing with compared to possible money for autographs. Winston will appear at a disciplinary hearing at Florida State related to the sexual assault allegation. What's the latest with that?

GOLDMAN: Well, there's not much. You know, we don't have an idea when it'll be. The Office for Civil Rights says this kind of code of conduct hearing should happen within 60 days of a sexual assault complaint. It's been almost two years since a woman first said Winston raped her. Also Winston hasn't been charged by the school, which the accuser's attorneys say is quite unique. Usually there's a charge filed and then a code of conduct hearing. The university says going directly to a hearing is in the interest of having a fair and impartial hearing. But the accuser's attorneys say it's another example of the school protecting their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. By charging him, the attorney says the school risks a public outcry for Winston's suspension, pending the outcome of the case. And without Winston, of course Florida State's chances of defending the National Championship are very slim.

WERTHEIMER: Tom, thank you.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

WERTHEIMER: That's NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on