The Giants set history by winning the NLDS!!! First NL team (out of 22) to come back from 0-2 to win a 5 game series!!! First time any MLB team has come from behind 0-2 in a 5 game series to win three on the road to win the series!!! The Giants are just the fifth team to come back from 0-2 to win the playoff series!!!
(got gif link from a comment on MCC)
Barry Zito ended up on the good side of history this time, as his A's were the loser in the last two times this situation has come up, losing to the Yankees in 2001, Red Sox in 2003, but now winner with the Giants in 2012. They survive the gauntlet to see each other for another day, another series. They will, indeed, see each other tomorrow.
They don't know who they will face next. If the Cards win, the first game of the NLCS would be in SF, but if the Nats win two, the first game would be in DC on Sunday. The talk is that they will stay in Cincinnati until that is decided, as they want to avoid jetting home only to have to jet back East to D.C. (DrB heard that the Giants had hired a sleep consultant who advised them to not fly out to Cincy after the game, to fly out the next day instead, whereas Cincy flied in on a red-eye after the game)
"You know what? We feel good," Posey
Matt Cain pitched well until the Giants scored 6 runs in the 5th off Mat Latos, punctuated by Buster Posey and his upper-deck, no doubt about it, grand slam. However, nothing happens if Brandon Crawford didn't come up and triples in the first run with his first hit of the playoffs - his first hit in the playoffs was an extra-base hit, much like his first MLB hit was an extra-base hit, that grand slam homer - then scoring the second run. But the big blow, ultimately, was Posey's grand slam as the Reds kept on pecking.
Because, as the Giants flashed back to 2010 with torture after that, the Reds kept the pressure on, scoring runs, getting runners on base, heck, ending the game with the winning runs on base, Sergio Romo going 30 pitches, which is way more than he usually does. Hope his arm is OK, but he got the clinching save, got the chance to celebrate on the mound the winning of the series. That is what he has said he wants to do, be the closer, be The Man like this.
Have to say "hats off" to the Reds for not lying down after that gut punch the grand slam delivered. The Reds actually outhit the Giants, 12 to 9, and got 3 walks to the 1 the Giants got. So they were bringing up the winning run to the plate every inning at the end of the game. They have nothing to be ashamed of, they went down fighting.
But whereas their homer was a solo job, the Giants homer provided the winning margin. The Giants offense won the game again for the team, as the bullpen was leaky in this game and Cain was merely solid, as the delay for all the scoring appeared to take his focus away (or something). Still, for 4 innings, neither team was doing much of anything, it was still scoreless until suddenly you couldn't stop the offense.
"Play for each other not yourself. Win each moment. Win each inning." Pence
George Kontos came in again and got some key outs for us again. He has really stepped up in this playoff series and has earned himself a bigger role in the bullpen going forward. He won his moments.
Hunter Pence gave another rah-rah speech before the game, once again, just like he did before the last two games. His football style speech is not seen much in baseball, where players try to keep themselves calm and not to over play with the adrenaline. It appears that it has worked, and I know I get misty and verklempt every time I think about it. I assume he's going to be doing this for as long as the Giants continue in the playoffs. And he finally started contributing some, no runs, but he got two hits.
Here is the basic outline of the speech, as passed by Flannery:
"Get in here, everyone get in here. Look into each other eyes. Now! Look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you. It's the most fun, the best team I have ever been on and no matter what happens we must not give in. We owe it to each other. Play for each other. I need one more day with you guys, I need to see what Ryan Theriot will wear tomorrow, I want to play defense behind Ryan Vogelsong because he's never been to the playoffs. Play for each other not yourself. Win each moment. Win each inning. It's all we have left."ogc thoughts
This series was incredible, though obviously after the games at home, especially with that whipping in game 2, all that we could realistically hope for was to extend the series some. Somehow, someway, the Giants did it. They looked into each other eyes and fought to see each other again the next day. And they did it, doing what they were doing big time in the second half of this season, playing well on the road.
Ultimately, Cueto's injury 8 pitches into his game 1 start costed the Reds the series, though that wasn't so evident after the beat down the Giants got in game 2. The dominoes started falling with the usage of Latos as a reliever in game 1. That took him out of his game 3 start, which pushed Bailey from game 4 to game 3, which pushed the Reds to drop Cueto to place Leake on the playoff roster to start game 4, then Latos became the 5th game starter. He was great until the 5th inning. Who knows what would have happened if Cain was facing Cueto today.
The opposing manager again made mistakes in the NLDS to help the Giants. The Braves' Cox made mistakes that cost them, and the Red's Dusty Baker also make a number of mistakes. Mistakes that make me remember why I was happy when the Giants moved on from Dusty. He made a number of mistakes in the 2002 World Series that I was not happy with, basically the same thing here: he don't really know what is the right thing to do with pitchers at key moments. He stayed with pitchers too long - like Latos today, Leake yesterday - or would take a pitcher out too soon, like Bailey in game 3. Bailey was dealing like he never did before - he will probably have a monster season in 2013 - and his pitch count wasn't that high, yet Baker came in and took him out. And by the time he took out the other pitchers, the damage was done.
Epic, Epic, Epic!
For another epic moment, Jeremy Affeldt had another odd injury, as he was in the tunnel when a Blanco foul ball went zipping his way. He could have been hit but in the process of avoiding the ball, he slipped and fell down a small flight of stairs, injuring himself. That forced the Giants to burn Lopez the next inning instead of having Affeldt pitch, and make Lopez unavailable when Romo was facing Bruce, a power lefty hitter. It was just meant to me, I guess.