The San Francisco Giants became the first National League team ever to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a Division Series Thursday afternoon, defeating the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 in a thrilling Game 5. Buster Posey played the part of hero for the Giants, mashing a Mat Latos offering in the fifth into the left-field stands for a grand slam that put the game out of reach.
The Reds managed to crawl back into the game late with help from the Giants' bullpen, but a six-run deficit proved to be too much no matter how many times the tying or winning run got on base. For Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles, the game was not just about the hero Posey, but also the flood of emotions caused by the late-inning bullpen scares:
It was not over. And if you ever had a doubt about your ability to feel about the Giants after 2010, if you were wondering if you could become the same blubbering mess you were when Ryan Howard struck out looking, the answer is yes. This one did it. There you go. Proof. Baseball can still give you that awful, beautiful, completely unnecessary, wholly necessary feeling.
The Reds had the tying run up in each of the last four innings. They had the winning run up in the ninth. The little filmstrip in your mind went nuts, playing all of the different ways the Reds could break your heart. You could see the hanging slider, the fastball up in the zone. You were trying to keep it out of your mind like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but the thoughts kept breaking down your defenses.
You know the game ended on a hanging slider, right? Goodness.
As heart-wrenching as it was, the Giants did hang on and now advance to the NLCS to face the winner of Friday night's Game 5 matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals. Game 1 of the NLCS will begin Sunday at a to-be-determined time and place, dependent on Friday evening's Game 5 victor.