With their victory on Thursday afternoon the San Francisco Giants not only advanced to the NLCS for the sixth time in their history, they became the first National League team in MLB history to win a best-of-five series after being down 0-2. They also were the first team to hand the Reds three losses in a row at the Great American Ballpark all season long. Wow. Just wow.
Skipper Bruce Bochy made some great decisions once again today, leaving Brandon Crawford in the lineup istead of Joaquin Arias to hit and RBI triple and a 97-mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman for a single, not to mention his spectacular diving catch in the eighth inning.
What more can be said about Buster Posey? Hitting his second grand slam of his career in one of the biggest games of his life, not only turning a double-play on a pickoff at third base in the sixth as part of a strike-em out throw-em out double-play. It was the first grand slam by a Giant in the postseason since Will Clark's iconic "lip reading" homer off Greg Maddux of the Cubs back in 1989. He is certainly a prime candidate for series (and league) MVP.
Sergio Romo might have had his must gut-wrenching outing of his career. A 4-out, 35-pitch outing with two hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout, filled with classic Giants torture. But his 12-pitch at bat against Jay Bruce was one to remember, getting him to pop out before retiring Scott Rolen.
The Reds had runners on base in every inning after Buster's bash, getting 17 runners on base but only plating four runs. Just another credit to the San Francisco bullpen and Bochy's use of it.
Angel Pagan had a great game as well with an RBI, run scored and a run-saving catch to end a Reds rally in the eighth. Hunter Pence may have become a legend during this series with his epic motivational speeches for his teammates. He had a 2-4 day with a stolen base, his best game of the series.
Pablo Sandoval may have said it best on CSN Bay Area after the game:
"We don't play for the name on the back [of our jerseys], we play for the name in the front."
Now these 25 men will wait to see if the Cardinals or Nationals will be their next opponent, getting a few days to rest up before going back into battle. Either way, they will be in for quite the challenge in these 2012 Giants.