Buster Posey's bat, Angel Pagan's glove bury Reds
The Giants have advanced the NLCS to face either the Cardinals or Nationals after topping the Reds in Game 5 of the NLDS.
|Buster Posey's bat did the talking in the decisive Game 5 in Cincinnati. (US Presswire)|
The Giants, in coming back from down 0-2 to eliminate the Reds, became the first team in baseball history to do so while winning the final three games of a best-of-five series on the road. Here's how they cinched a spot in the NLCS ...
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Hero: It was Angel Pagan's outstanding catch in the bottom of the eighth that ended (yet another) potential Cincinnati rally. It was an impossibly risky play, too. If Pagan missed the sinking liner, then the best-case scenario (from the Giants' standpoint) was probably a 6-5 lead with the tying run on third. But Pagan's boldness paid off in a big way. And that's how you become a hero despite an 0-for-5 day at the plate.
Goat: The Reds, despite being down 6-0 in the fifth inning, had their chances for a comeback. Their best chance might have come in the sixth. But a strikeout-throw-out that retired Ryan Hanigan at the plate and Jay Bruce at third base snuffed out their hopes. Before all that unfolded, Hanigan represented the potential tying run. You could really pick your moment, though, as the Reds brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last four innings. On the day, Cincy went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Such a lack of clutch hitting helped do them in.
Turning point: Buster Posey's grand slam off Mat Latos seemed to drive a stake into the heart of the Reds. While they showed life in the late innings, Posey's blast provided a margin that was too much to overcome.
It was over when: Latos was stellar through four innings, but he spontaneously combusted in the fifth. Here's the damnable sequence of events that helped end the Reds' season: single, RBI triple, groundout, E6, walk, single, grand slam.