Michael Saltzman: Buster Posey’s Late Home-Run
The Giants were 12-24 heading into a Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds. The team was already looking at a long season with the injury to Madison Bumgarner rocking the team. They also were looking up at the entire National League West. The Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers were already several games ahead of the Giants and even the San Diego Padres were in fourth place.
To make matters worse, the previous night, the Giants lost a game in which Ty Blach went seven innings and allowed only two runs as Hunter Strickland gave up the go ahead run in the top of the eighth inning.
The Giants needed something. Neither team scored a run after the fifth inning on this night and it was tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the 17th inning. After a Christian Arroyo groundout, in stepped Buster Posey.
He had come to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and lined out. He came up again in the 12th and 14th innings and hit deep fly balls to “Triples Alley.” Fans seemed to be waiting for the Giants to find a way to lose.
However, on this night, the Giants staff was remarkable. It began with eight brilliant innings of two run ball from Johnny Cueto. It continued with nine more innings of shutout ball from Derek Law, Steven Okert, Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich, George Kontos, Bryan Morris and finally Corey Gearrin.
The Reds had not scored since the second inning and Posey finally rewarded his staff’s effort with a home run to left field that seemed to rival Brandon Belt’s 18th inning home run in the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals in 2012. Everyone remembers Belt’s bat drop that night. Posey’s reaction was priceless too, as a tired warrior nearly fell over after the swing and as he crossed home plate. After five hours and 28 minutes, everyone in the stadium could likely hear Giants announcer Duane Kuiper say “…and we are going home!”