When the San Francisco Giants lost their first two games at AT&T Park, most people believed that it would be a matter of time before the Cincinnati Reds won the series and advanced to the National League Championship Series to face either the Washington Nationals or St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds had not lost three straight games at home all season long and no National League team in postseason history had comeback from a 0-2 deficit. While it had been accomplished four times in the American League, these daunting statistics of history definitely made a Giants comeback improbable.
However, three games later at Great American Ball Park and it is the Giants, not the Reds, who are advancing to the NLCS. Following their 6-4 win over the Reds on Thursday afternoon, the Giants are the first team since the Boston Red Sox in 2003 to come back in a Division Series after losing the first two games.
The Giants scored all six of their runs in the fifth inning, capped off by a Buster Posey grand slam. Matt Cain had the longest outing out of all starting pitchers for the Giants, as he pitched into the sixth inning and allowed three runs on six hits. A combined effort by George Kontos, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo finished the last three and one-third innings of the game.
For Giants fans who remembered the team's theme for their 2010 World Series run, the last inning of this game was torture. From Romo's 11-pitch at bat with Jay Bruce to the final outs of the game, the Reds quickly induced panic into Giant fans everywhere once Ryan Ludwick singled to left, scoring Zack Cozart and advancing Joey Votto to second base. Even after the Giants' six-run fifth inning, Cincinnati scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, signifying that this would be no walk in the park for a team with a six-run advantage.
Nevertheless, the Giants had an excellent group effort to win this winner-take-all Game 5. An improbable outcome that put the Giants in the record book as the first team to win three games on the road after losing two at home to win a playoff series, San Francisco now has so much more to look forward to in their magical 2012 postseason run. With so much excitement and jubilation for this amazing comeback, the Giants are on an unbelievable roll with momentum that could propel them to the 2012 World Series.
Posey, Giants down Reds, slam their way to NLCS, CSN Bay Area
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Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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