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NLDS Game 5: Buster Posey completes grand Giants comeback with slam, Reds head home

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Score and situation: Comeback completed. After leaving San Francisco trailing by two games to none, the Giants won their NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds with a 6-4 win in Thursday's Game 5. They're the first NL team to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a five-game LDS series.

Leading lads: Buster Posey was the MVP of the Giants' regular season and he was undoubtedly the MVP of this clincher, hitting a grand slam in San Francisco's six-run fifth inning. Brandon Crawford deserves credit for starting the big frame after tripling home Gregor Blanco for the game's first run and the Giants bullpen gave up only one run over 3 1/3  innings to clinch the Giants' third straight victory at Great American Ballpark. Sergio Romo earned the save after collecting four outs and stranding a total of four runners.

Head hangers: Mat Latos saved the Reds in Game 1, but he sunk his team with one bad inning in Game 5. Latos had never given up a grand slam until Posey blasted his pitch to left field. It's hard to blame anyone from a Reds lineup that managed 12 hits and three walks, but they could have timed all those hits a bit better. The team stranded 11 runners.

Key play: Angel Pagan made a diving catch on a Dioner Navarro liner to end the eighth inning and strand two Reds runners on base.

Key play No. 2: With the tying runs aboard, Sergio Romo induced a Jay Bruce flyout after a dramatic 12-pitch at-bat for the second out of the ninth inning. It set the table for Romo's series-ending strikeout of Scott Rolen. Cincinnati left two runners on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Key quote:

"We didn't make it easy on ourselves, that's for sure." — Posey

Interesting stat: Between the 2012 Reds, '03 Cubs and '02 Giants, Dusty Baker has now lost eight of his last nine games when his team entered with a chance to clinch the series.

What's next: The Giants move on to their first NLCS since 2010, where they'll face either St. Louis or Washington. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday night and the Giants would hold home-field advantage over the Cardinals.

Make sure all your bases are covered this postseason ...
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