Amazing, amazing series: the Giants survive to reach the NLCS, but just barely.
Truth is the Giants were lucky; the Reds got one out from their best pitcher instead of two starts, and Singles-Hitting Votto, while still a pretty terrific player, is nowhere near as scary as regular Votto. And, yeah, the Giants were outscored by several runs. Still, a win is a win, and this was a win.
The weird thing is that the teams were oddly matched, since the Giants are actually the hitting-based team and the Reds are a pitching-based team, which goes against both the ballpark biases and the image of both teams over the last few years. It's hard to get a sense of how good a team the Giants are because it's hard to quite believe the rotation is as bad as it's been this year (ERA+ down the rotation are 125, 103, 103, 84, 67, and both Vogelsong nor Bumgarner looked terribly tired over the last six weeks)...but it's also hard to believe that this team is really the best hitting team in the league (team OPS+ was tied with the Cardinals for the top spot). I don't think it's just a park illusion, either, that makes me pretty skeptical of that.
At any rate: a great performance by everyone to beat the Reds. Bruce Bochy continues to be an excellent postseason manager (although I still don't get the roster construction, but it's not as if there was any fearsome pinch hitter who was left home, just a third catcher or a pinch runner). Romo was awesome. Buster Posey really does seem to be the best player in the National League right now. Lincecum's long relief appearance was awesome.
So, on to the LCS, either the Nats or the Cards -- I have no idea which one I'm rooting for right now, other than the obvious one of rooting for a Game 5, as long as neither one has Bob Robertson and Candy Maldonado won't be in right field. Either way, it should be fun!