They cheated the reaper over and over by living the motto, "Play for each other, play for tomorrow." Now, they have earned at least four more tomorrows and brought another pennant to San Francisco.

The Giants are going to the World Series for the second time in three years after leaping out of the grave again. Down three games to one in the National League Championship Series, they dominated the Cardinals over the final three games and bulldozed them 9-0 in the seventh game Monday night.

The Giants outscored the Cardinals 20-1 in Games 5, 6 and 7 and won a decisive seventh game for the first time in franchise history.

Matt Cain, who had not had a great postseason, blanked the Cardinals for 5 2/3 innings and rode a five-run third inning to beat Kyle Lohse in a rematch of St. Louis' Game 3 win at Busch Stadium.

Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo finished a fine series for the bullpen (18 innings, four runs that scored in one game). The celebration began in a heavy rain, the final out delayed as the grounds crew threw bags of dry dirt on the mound and infield. Romo ended it by getting Matt Holliday - of course - to pop out to Marco Scutaro.

Before he left in the sixth, Cain hit Holliday in the upper arm with an 0-2 fastball, perhaps to avenge the hit on Marco Scutaro, perhaps an accident. There was no reason to give St. Louis even the slightest opening and a rallying point with 12 outs to go.

Either way, Holliday took his medicine without a peep and did not look at Cain as he took his base.

Scutaro had three more hits and had 14 in the series, breaking Will Clark's franchise record of 13 for a single postseason series and tying an LCS record. He batted .500 in the seven games in winning the NLCS Most Valuable Player award.

Brandon Belt punctuated the night and the series by homering in the eighth inning against Cardinals closer Jason Motte.

But the hit that will live in Giants' lore was a two-run Hunter Pence double through the left side of the infield that changed direction when it hit his bat two, even three times.

The player who begged his teammates game after game to believe did the unbelievable to help secure the Giants' 20th pennant, the fifth in the San Francisco era.

Now, they will play the well-rested Detroit Tigers in a World Series that seemed out of reach so many times. Manager Bruce Bochy's boys won six elimination wins to get there, the second time a team has eluded the reaper's scythe that many times in a single postseason.

In doing so, they also ended the season of another team that had a unique way of slipping away from the shrouded cipher of mortality. The Giants formally ended the Cardinals' bid to repeat as World Series champions.