CINCINNATI - 9 News is LIVE at Great American Ball Park for the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. Follow all the action as it unfolds below.
GAME OVER: Rolen strikes out. The Reds are out of the playoffs. Most of the fans are still here just in shock.
Bot 9th (cont.) - Bruce with a ton of foul balls so far with 2 strikes to stay alive. The Bruce cheers are deafening, and they got the loudest they've been at GABP after catcher Buster Posey called for time twice. After more than 10 pitches, Bruce flies out to left for the second out. What an at-bat! At the very least, that's worn down Romo. Rolen's up next.
SCORE ALERT - Ludwick singles home Cozart. Reds 4, Giants 6 with 1 out. Jay Bruce up.
Bot 9th - Brandon Phillips pops up a 2-2 pitch he played defense on to the 1st baseman for the first out. Romo walks Cozart and the Reds have a man on first with 1 out for Joey Votto. It ain't over yet. Votto singles into right field to move up Cozart to second for Ryan Ludwick. It's a good thing the catcher gives signs to the pitcher, because you wouldn't be able to hear it if it was verbal. This crowd is loud .
Mid 9th - This is it. And the Reds have the top of the lineup to try and get it down. The Reds have scored three runs in an inning three times already this series, so it's not out of reach. Joaquin Arias takes over at third for the Giants, a defensive move. Everyone is on their feet here at GABP.
Top 9th - Crawford gets a single that lands in front of Bruce in right to leadoff. Xavier Nady hits after being put in the game on a double switch for Romo in the previous inning. He replaces Blanco in left field. Chapman gets a pop up to Phillips out of him, and there is 1 out. He gets another pop out to second from Pagan. 2 down. After a long at bat, Chapman gets Scutaro to fly out to center. Inning over.
End 8th - Reds 3, Giants 6. Aroldis Chapman is the new Reds pitcher, and Wilson Valdez takes over in center field for Drew Stubbs after he was pinch hit for by Frazier. The Giants are just getting things to go their way now. Hanigan and Navarro both put great hits on each out they gave up, but San Francisco's defense got there just in time to make the outs. Tough break, but again, more runners left on base and more chances lost.
Bot 8th (cont.) - More amazing defense from the Giants. Navarro put a good hit on it, but it stayed up just enough in center for Pagan to slide in and make the catch by a hair. inning over.
PITCHING CHANGE - Casilla is pulled, and Giants' closer Sergio Romo comes on. Brian Wilson was the Giants' closer before he injured his elbow in April. Romo has shut out the Reds in 3 innings this series.
Bot 8th (cont.) - Scott Rolen bloops a single into right-center and he's on 1st with 1 out. Hanigan smoked a line drive to the left side of the infield, but Brandon Crawford does his best Brandon Phillips impression, diving to his right to snag the ball out of the air. Hanigan was robbed of a hit. 2 outs. Todd Frazier pinch hits for Drew Stubbs. Casilla fools Frazier with a few fastballs low and out of the zone, but Frazier finally pokes one over Casilla for a single. Great piece of hitting on a ball out of the zone. First and second with two outs for Dioner Navarro, who pinch hits for Broxton.
PITCHING CHANGE - Lopez again pitches for just 1 out. Santiago Casilla, who the Reds batted around for a couple of runs in Game 1, is the new pitcher.
Bot 8th - Bruce grounds out to Belt at first base for the first out.
Mid 8th - The Reds' bullpen is doing their job, keeping the Giants quiet on offense. Reds have to pick up a run or two and just consider this a 3-0 game. Javier Lopez will be the new Giants pitcher the Reds will face. The Reds have only seen him for 1 out in Game 3.
Top 8th - Broxton gets a leadoff fly ball out from Posey to Bruce in right for the first out. Hunter Pence sprays a single to Votto's left and there is a man on first with 1 out. Hunter Pence got a great jump on a 2-2 pitch to Belt and stole second. Brandon Phillips just made a heck of a diving play to his right to save a hit and record the second out at first. He is some kind of good at that position. Pence advances to third with 2 outs. Blanco put a good swing on a ball, but Drew Stubbs comes in to make the catch on the line drive to end the inning.
End 7th - Reds 3, Giants 6. Time is running out for the Redlegs to make history. The largest elimination game comeback in postseason history was a 4-run deficit, and the Reds still have three runs to make up. They've certainly had their chances. Jonathan Broxton is the new Reds pitcher.
Bot 7th - Xavier Paul pinch hits for Marshall, who did exactly what he needed to do on the mound with 2 innings pitched and 2 strikeouts, not a hit. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt is the new pitcher for the Giants. Affeldt hasn't let the Reds score in his 2.2 innings of work this series. Affeldt strikes out Paul for the 1st out. Phillips continues to
be the leader of the Reds' offense this NLDS. He rips a single the other way to right field. Man on 1st with 1 out. Cozart pops to center for the second out. Votto hits a hard bouncer over the pitcher, and is barely safe on the throw after a great diving play by Giants shortstop Crawford. Men on second and first with two outs for Ludwick. A great at-bat by Ludwick, with multiple foul balls, but again the Reds can't produce with runners on and in scoring position. He grounds out to the pitcher and the inning is over.
Mid 7th - Great pitching by Marshall, painting the black and getting the Giants off balance. Reds need to keep chipping away, and they'll have the top of the lineup to do it.
Top 7th - Marshall gets a pop up back to him from Pagan for the first out. Phillips makes a good play on a ground ball from Scutaro to his right, and records the second out. Sandoval loses his bat on a pop up to Cozart, and the inning is over.
End 6th - Reds 3, Giants 6. That double play strike 'em out, throw 'em out was a dagger, one the Reds might not be able to recover from. I can hear the comments now on the decision-making by Dusty Baker to send the runners. Can't blame Hanigan for taking the pitch for the strikeout, but it was too close with the way this ump has been calling strikes, and it was a pitch he should have fought off. Side note: Attendance today was 44,142, the fourth-largest crowd at GABP ever. Pretty good considering how unfortunate the timing of the game was.
Bot 6th - Drew Stubbs grounds out to the shortstop to end the inning.
PITCHING CHANGE - Cain's day is done, and in comes Giants reliever George Kontos. Kontos has yet to give up a run in 3.1 innings against the Reds this series.
Bot 6th - Cain walks Bruce, and Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti strolls out for a chat. George Kontos warming in the Giants' bullpen. The crowd is into this one as they got real loud after that walk, and just as loud for Scott Rolen's walk to the plate. Rolen knocks a single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch and the tying run is at the plate in the form of Ryan Hanigan. The crowd is so into this game, that they just cheered as loud for a check-swing by Hanigan that was called safe as loud as they did for the previous walk and single. Keep it up GABP. That all just went wrong for the Reds. The runners were going on a 3-2 count, and a questionable low and away pitch was called a strike. Posey then throws out Bruce at third. Double play.
SCORE ALERT - Ryan Ludwick hits his third home run of the series, to left field off a 2-2 Matt Cain curveball. Reds 3, Giants 6. Crowd erupts for that one.
Mid 6th - That's the way the Reds have to do it. Shutout baseball from the bullpen, but the inconsistent strike zone worries me a bit. That was the catalyst for the big 6-run 5th inning for the Giants, after Latos didn't get a few strike calls, he had to come further in, and as a result they were hit. But none of that should matter if the Reds can get the bats going. Ludwick due up, Cain still on the mound.
Top 6th - Marshall gets a ground ball right back at him and throws out Blanco for out No. 1. Marshall gets Crawford on a swinging strike out for the second out. Tough call for what Marshall thought was a strike 3 that was called a ball, but he gets the strikeout on the next pitch on Cain. Inning over.
End 5th - Reds 2, Giants 6. The Reds got a couple back there, a good sign, but when your MVP-caliber player can't help move the line along, that's a problem. Sean Marshall is the new pitcher for Cincinnati.
Bot 5th (cont.) - Zach Cozart pops a fly ball out to right-center for the second out. Brandon Phillips was a little too casual in the base path on that particular hit. If Pagan had dropped the fly ball, Phillips may not have made it to third because of his lack of awareness. Here comes Votto, and loud chants of "Joey! Joey! Joey!" Votto has a great at-bat, fouling off a lot of good Cain pitches, but can't get it done, he grounds out to Crawford at short. Votto has yet to record an RBI this postseason.
SCORE ALERT: Brandon Phillips rips a double to right field, and both runners score. Reds 2, Giants 0. Brandon had looked a called strike that was definitely out of the zone on the pitch just before he hit the double, so a very good recovery. Drew Stubbs was particularly animated and amped up after scoring. So is this crowd.
Bot 5th - Ryan Hanigan gets hit in the shoulder with a fastball, he'll walk to first base with no one out. Drew Stubbs waits on a changeup and takes it into center field for a single. Men on first and second with no outs. Chris Heisey pinch hits for LeCure. Heisey pops out to Belt at first base on an offspeed pitch for the first out. Runners remain on 1st and 2nd.
Mid 5th - Ouch. This is the ultimate test for the Reds' bats. Other than Games 1 and 2, the last time the Reds scored six runs was when they clinched the NL Central against the Dodgers on Sept. 22, and the last time they scored seven runs was a win
over the Astros on Aug. 31, when they scored 9. Summary: They don't have a history of scoring that much. But there's still plenty of time. Side note: The crowd is still with these guys. There were a few boos from the nay-sayers, but the majority was loud and proud, even when Latos was pulled and taking the walk of shame to the dugout. At least this fan base can say they're still behind them.
Top 5th (cont.) - Hunter Pence hits a ground ball out to Phillips for the second out. LeCure gets Belt swinging on a good curveball to end the inning.
PITCHING CHANGE - Sam LeCure has pitched well this series, but he can't put runs back on the board. Latos was just a bit off with his spots sporadically all game, which can only be hypothesized to be because of the short rest. Latos goes 4.1 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, 1 walk and 4 Ks on 79 pitches. Polar opposite of his Game 1 performance.
SCORE ALERT - A 434 foot-grand slam by Buster Posey on a 2-2 fastball by Latos. Latos didn't even look back after he saw the ball was hit. Giants 6, Reds 0. A lot of trust by Dusty Baker to let Latos try and work through that jam, maybe too much. He'll relieve him for Sam LeCure.
Top 5th (cont.) - Latos walks Scutaro, and out comes pitching coach Bryan Price to chat. Sam LeCure is warming in the Reds' pen. Pablo Sanodval pokes a single into left, but a heck of a play by Ludwick to get that one in without the Giants scoring a run. Bases juiced with 1 out for Buster Posey.
SCORE ALERT - A slow ground ball was hit by Pagan to Cozart, and he wanted to throw home with it, but the ball got stuck in his glove, and when his hand came out, the ball didn't come with it. Cozart drops it, Pagan is safe at first and Crawford scores. Giants 2, Reds 0. Error charged to Cozart, but RBI for Pagan either way.
Top 5th (cont.) - Latos gets a squib of a hit back at him from the batter Cain, and he's thrown out at first for the first out, runner stays at third.
SCORE ALERT - A bit of an inconsistent strike zone from home plate umpire Tom Hallion, calling balls on pitches that Cain got for strikes, and after Latos got behind Brandon Crawford, Crawford gets his first hit of the series, a triple down the line in right, and scores Blanco. Giants 1, Reds 0.
Top 5th - Gregor Blanco led off with a crazy swing in which he looked like he did the two-step in the batter's box, but after that whiff, he recovers and slaps a single through the left side of the infield. Man on 1st with nobody out.
End 4th - Reds 0, Giants 0. This one is moving along quite quickly thanks to some great pitching. That's four innings in just more than 1 hour. The Reds have started to jump on some first pitches of Matt Cain's, but he's doing a good job of mixing his speeds to keep the Reds guessing.
Bot 4th - Cain strikes out Votto on a good offspeed pitch in the zone. He initially fooled Joey on the first strike fastball that must have caught the outside of the zone by the size of the lacing coming up off the baseball. He keeps picking those corners and getting first-pitch strikes. Ludwick swings at a first pitch fastball, but got under it, and it's popped out to Brandon Belt at first. Two outs. Bruce puts a great knock on a ball that lands in deep right, but Giants RF Hunter Pence got to it quickly and holds Bruce to a 2-out single. Scott Rolen swings on a first-pitch changeup and grounds to Sandoval, who throws to second to get Bruce for the third out.
Mid 4th - Latos was given a very enthusiastic reception in the dugout after that inning. He's got his stuff working well, but we'll see how far Dusty Baker lets him pitch into this one on four days rest. Side note: There are a lot more folks in the stands actually standing a whole lot this game. So it's not just the energy and the noise for the Reds today, it's the body language too. Votto leads off the bottom of the 4th. Is there a guy with a better intro song than his?
Top 4th - Latos gets Pablo Sandoval to ground out to Joey Votto for out number 1. Sandoval had been 4-5 with a HR and 3 RBI in Games 4 and 5 up until that out, so good to see him finally get put out. Latos also gets a Posey fly ball out on a high fastball. 2 down. Latos threw two nasty curveballs in that at bat to get swinging strikes from Pence, and the crowd got amped up again. He just missed on a third curveball and the following pitch, and on 3-2 Pence tomahawked a high fastball into the ground up the middle, that Phillips got to, but not in time to throw to first before the speedy Pence was safe. A base hit and a man on first with two outs. Latos just missed with a couple pitches to Belt with two strikes to get to 3-2, but he gets him swinging on a high changeup. Inning over.
End 3rd - Reds 0, Giants 0. The Giants defense looked shaky early, and with how Game 3 ended, that looked like it may come in to play later, but Blanco made a great play in left to end that inning, so maybe not.
Bot 3rd - Latos leads off with a very well hit ball to center that
Pagan had to trot backward for, but he gets it, and it's the first out. That would have left the yard in left or right field. Phillips puts another good swing on a fastball, but it's a harmless pop out to right. He looks like he's swinging for the fences a bit too much, and needs to get back to basics from earlier in the season when he was a batting above .300. Cozart follows by scorching a liner to left on a changeup, but Gregor Blanco makes a good diving play on it to get the third out.
Mid 3rd - Nothing against Dioner Navarro, the Reds backup catcher, he has a great arm and bat, but Hanigan calls games as good as any catcher in the majors right now, and it's showing today. So not to take blame away from Mike Leake for giving up a few runs in Game 4 because he did have some fastballs left out over the plate, but Hanigan definitely knows how to coach a pitcher into the right throws better.
Top 3rd - Latos blows three straight fastballs by Cain for the strikeout and out No. 1. Latos gets Pagan to pop out to left on a 1-2 fastball for 2 outs. Scutaro grounds to Phillips, who takes his time with the throw, but gets the third out.
End 2nd - Cain is picking his corners very well. In looking at a pitch chart, he's only thrown a handful of strikes that haven't been somewhat out of the strike zone box as well as in it. The Reds didn't get runs off of Cain until the 3rd inning of Game 1, so no reason to panic yet.
Bot 2nd - Scotty Rolen gets a good reception from the fans in the first time we've seen him since the Game 3 error. He hits a high two-hopper to the right side of Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval, and Sandoval can't handle the hop. Sandoval charged with an error, and Rolen gets an even bigger reception as he stands on first. Ryan Hanigan follows on a 1-0 pitch that he didn't get all of, pushing it up the middle on the ground that Crawford tags second and throws to first for the double play. Two outs. Stubbs gets rung up on a low and outside fastball that didn't look like it caught much, if any, of the zone. Either way, inning over.
Mid 2nd - Most of the empty seats have filled out here and the energy is still high. I'd like to take this time and thank the many bosses of Cincinnati companies all around on behalf of the Reds for letting more than 40,000 of their workers off for the afternoon. And to the many more watching on TV and following the game live here, a thanks to their bosses for not judging their career on this afternoon's productivity.
Top 2nd - Latos throws four great pitches to Brandon Belt, getting him to strike out looking on a 1-2 fastball that just nicked the inside corner. 1 out. Latos gets Gregor Blanco to fly out in left on a 2-2 pitch for out No. 2. First pitch swinging on a fastball by Brandon Crawford is the third out on a fly ball to left. Inning over. Easy work for Latos.
End 1st - Reds 0, Giants 0. Both teams get off to a swinging early start, but both pitchers wrap up and prevent any damage. For the Reds in particular, both Ludwick and Bruce were caught swinging at bad pitches with a runner in scoring position. That's not to say that Cain didn't have them off-balance by mixing in his curveball, but patience has paid off for the Reds in the past few games, they need to take a little more of a look when they're in the batter's box to win this one.
Bot 1st - Phillips breaks his bat on a 0-1 changeup, and flies out almost directly at center fielder Angel Pagan. My hunch is if that bat didn't break, that one might have gotten out of here. 1 out. Cozart hits a slow ground ball at the shortstop, with the crowd cheering the whole way, and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford can't handle the hop, Cozart is safe, man on first with 1 out. Cain gets behind Votto, and he draws another walk. Votto has four walks this series. Men on first and second with 1 down. Ludwick chased two bad pitches outside, and Cain gets him to strike out on a 2-2 curveball in the dirt. Two outs. Cain gets Bruce swinging on an outside fastball to end the inning.
Mid 1st - How about this noise at GABP!? The fans are excited, and they were bellowing their support on every strike and pop out that half inning. This is a playoff game atmosphere. Nice work Cincinnati. Keep it up. I still see patches of empty seats here and there, which can only be explained by the MLB's 48-hour notice of the start time of the game today. Either way, the folks that are here are coming together for quite the deafening roar.
Top 1st - Oh yeah. This crowd got to the loudest they've been all series for strike 1 on a first pitch by Latos. Just as loud for strike two. And even louder for strike 3 on Angel Pagan. 1 out. Sandoval also gets a hold of a fastball, this time low and away, for a single. Runners on first and second with 1 out. Latos throws a good inside 1-0 fastball to get Posey to pop out to Stubbs. 2 outs. A final good fastball to Pence gets him to pop out to short left. No damage done despite a couple of singles.
Out comes Latos to the mound to a roaring crowd. We'll update per half inning from here on out. Scutaro puts a good swing on a 1-1 high fastball to record a single into left. Man on first with 1 out.
1 p.m. - George Foster, a key part of the Big Red Machine, throws out the first pitch and puts a nice one across. A few more thousand fans have packed in, and it's looking like a more respectable showing as we get closer to first pitch.
12:57 p.m. - Rodney Atkins sings the national anthem. He was a tad off-key, and a little slow, but a good country performance.
12:53 p.m. - Lineups were just announced here at GABP, and for the size of the crowd, they made some pretty good noise.
12:48 p.m. - Still looks like a typical regular season Thursday business-day special in the stands. I hope a lot of people rush here soon after taking a half-day.
12:43 p.m. - Another historic thing about today's game was the ticket prices. $3.50 on StubHub for standing room. $4 for a seat! You can't get those prices during the regular season! TV coverage trying to fit all the games in on their own time is to blame for this one, which bumped the small market Reds and Giants up to the 1 p.m. hour. I feel for the fans in San Francisco, who will have to try and find a place to watch the game just after they get their morning coffee (10:07 a.m. first pitch their time).
12:40 p.m. - The few Reds fans that have showed up early gave Mat Latos a huge ovation when he took the field for a warm-up jog just now.
12:30 p.m. - Today's lineups are back to what they were for Games 1-3. Reds: Phillips, Cozart, Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, Rolen, Hanigan, Stubbs, Latos. Giants: Pagan, Scutaro, Sandoval, Posey, Pence, Belt, Blanco, Crawford, Cain.
12:26 p.m. - Not sure what potential history-making situation makes me more nervous at the moment, the result of this game or the fact that the Reds could set a postseason record low in attendance. Very slow trickle into the ballpark today.
12:18 p.m. - It's a lot colder today than it has been all series. It was 49 degrees at the ballpark at last check. That could make a long-pitching stint hard for the starters. Gripping that curveball starts to hurt when your fingers don't get thawed out.
12:07 p.m. - The Reds haven't won a playoff elimination game since the 1975 World Series following Carlton Fisk's home run game that evened the series. That's the bad news. The good news? The Reds haven't dropped three straight at home all year, and no team that lost the first two games at home in an NLDS has come back to win three in a row. More good news and bad news here: http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/sports/baseball/reds/good-news-and-bad-news-about-nlds-game-5-history-says-reds-have-a-chance-but-giants-have-momentum .
12:02 p.m. - Know someone who's going to the game? They need to read this: http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/sports/baseball/reds/Reds-fans-do-this-team-a-favor-and-get-loud-for-Game-5 . Reds fans were called out, and they need to rally to answer the call for support in this elimination game.
12 p.m. - It's eerily quiet in and around GABP one hour out from game time, and this series is that much closer to being decided. The Reds did not take batting practice, which was a move made for both rest in such a quick turnaround between games and for focus. With the way the Reds looked in BP before Game 4, they definitely wasted all their power and good swings in the pre-game.
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