Michael Wacha hurls Cardinals into World Series, beats Dodgers in NLCS, tops players for Friday, Oct. 18

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Michael Wacha pitched the Cardinals into the World Series, dominating the Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, earning Friday's Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Wacha pitched seven shutout innings and gave up only two hits in the 9-0 win over the Dodgers, to win the NLCS for the Cardinals four games to two. 

It is the second time during the NLCS and the third time during the postseason that the rookie Wacha has earned Player of the Game honors. In the regular season, he only earned Player of the Game honors twice—both times in September—earning 3.0 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, ranking 361st overall.

By contrast, the Dodgers starter Friday, Clayton Kershaw, is Box-Toppers Player of the Season, earning 21.7 Box-Toppers points, more than any other player. However, Kershaw lasted only four innings, gave up 10 hits and seven runs. Wacha also outdueled him in Game 2 of the series.

Of course, with the Dodgers eliminated from the postseason, it means that Box-Toppers' preseason pick for World Series champion will not come to fruition. On paper—or rather in Box-Toppers' database—the Dodgers looked like the most dominant going into the 2013 season. But early on, they languished and seemed doomed for the NL West basement. However, in June, they began winning and by July were finally among Box-Toppers' top 10 teams and topped all teams for two weeks in September. They finished the season as Box-Toppers' second-ranked team, just behind the Tigers.

Coming Saturday: The American League Championship Series resumes Saturday in Boston. Here is the pitching match-up:

ALCS Game 6, Red Sox lead Tigers 3-2

Tigers: Max Scherzer, 18.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked fifth overall (see the Top 10 Player ranking list on the home page)

Red Sox: Clay Buchholz, 11.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked 41st overall

This is a rematch of Game 2 of the series, won by the Red Sox, 6-5.

In regular season games, 2.0 Box-Toppers points are awarded for Player of the Day, 1.7 for top player in the opposite league, 1.5 for top batter in each league and 1.0 for the top player in each of the other games. However, no Box-Toppers points are awarded during the postseason. 

Top player from each game

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score

MLB9.0Cardinals  000000  Michael Wacha (W, 3-0)7.020015

Top 6 players in NLCS Game 6

Here are the top six Cardinals players in Friday's National League Championship Series Game 6, ranked from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (how game score is calculated). Michael Wacha, who had a Box-Toppers game score of 9.0 was Player of the Game (POG). Carlos Beltran was top batter with a Box-Toppers game score of 2.0. 

POG9.0Cardinals 0000000  Michael Wacha (W, 3-0)7.020015
 3.0Cardinals 0000000  Carlos Martinez 1.000002
 2.0Cardinals Carlos Beltran RF413200  00.000000
 2.0Cardinals 0000000  Trevor Rosenthal 1.000001
 1.0Cardinals Shane Robinson CF, RF412200  00.000000
 1.0Cardinals Matt Adams 1B312110  00.000000