Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giants edge out Reds in extras to keep season alive

Tuesday night marked a chance for the Reds to do some things they hadn't done in nearly two decades. A victory over the visiting Giants would not only ensure the Reds a spot in the NLCS, but it would also mark their first postseason series victory and home playoff game victory since 1995.

Cincinnati kicked off the scoring right off the bat (pardon the pun) when Jay Bruce singled home Zack Cozart in the bottom of the first. At that point, it looked like the Redlegs offense may roll over San Francisco much like they did in Game Two. However, that wouldn't prove to be the case.

The Giants managed to knot up the score at 1-1 without even recording a base hit during the top of the third. Angel Pagan's sacrifice fly scored Gregor Blanco, who reached base after getting hit by a pitch upon leading off the inning.

And that's all the offense the game produced until the top of the tenth inning when Buster Posey scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run to make the score 2-1. And that's how the final score read.

Here's a recap of the good, bad, and notables:

The Good:
+ Bailey was phenomenal yet again. The right-hander allowed just one hit and one run in seven innings of work. He even flirted with another no-hitter before the Giants broke up his bid in the sixth. Throw in the fact that he fanned 10 and walked only one as well. He may very well be the team's best pitcher right now.
+ Sean Marshall pitched a clean frame in the eighth to keep the game tied.
+ Aroldis Chapman struckout a pair during his one inning of relief. The Cuban native looked as dominant as ever in this one.
+ The Reds still have a 2-1 series lead. They have two games to win just one.
+ More home playoff games!!!

The Bad:
+ The offense returned to Earth after scoring nine runs last game.
+ Ryan Hanigan had a rough go of it tonight. The veteran catcher went 0-4 at the dish and was charged with a rare passed ball in the tenth that put two Giants runners in scoring position. One of those runs would later score when Scott Rolen bobbled a grounder hit by Joaquin Arias.
+ The sure-handed Rolen picked a bad time to commit a miscue. But to be fair, that ball would have ate up most third basemen.
+ Jonathan Broxton took the loss after coughing up two hits and that fateful run in the tenth. He did manage to strikeout the side though.

The Notables:
+ Tom Browning, the only pitcher to record a perfect game in franchise history, threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch.
+ Up next: Game Four of the series will take place beginning at 4:07 PM ET on Wednesday. The Giants will send out left-hander Barry Zito (15-8, 4.15).
+ Game Five will take place at 1:07 PM ET on Thursday (if necessary).

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