Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Giants' thrilling 2019 comeback win over the Reds tonight at 8 PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.
When you think of the 2019 Giants, you do not think about offensive production. But that group did have a 19-run outburst one day at Coors Field, and scored 14 against the Rockies in another game. They scored 13 runs in a win at Petco Park.
The offensive highlight of the season, though, might have come in a game the Giants won by only one run.
On May 3, the Giants went into Cincinnati and overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the Reds 12-11. Stephen Vogt capped the comeback with a solo shot off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias with two outs in the top of the ninth, and Evan Longoria won it with a homer in the 11th.
The comeback matched the largest in Giants history. They also came back from eight-run deficits in 1949, 1970 (twice) and 1989.
The win was as thrilling as any the Giants had last year, and it will re-air tonight at 8 on NBC Sports Bay Area. As you watch, here are three things you might have forgotten about that wild comeback:
An early reason to believe in Vogt
This was Stephen Vogt's season debut, and he ended up being the star after coming off the bench in the fifth inning with the Giants trailing 10-3. Vogt had missed the entire 2018 season because of shoulder surgery and had to spend a month in Triple-A as he got his throwing arm back into shape, but he ended up being one of the more valuable Giants in 2019.
Vogt doubled in his first at-bat for the Giants to cut the deficit to six runs. In the eighth, he singled and scored as part of a three-run rally that got the Giants within one. In the ninth, he did this:
WE BELIEVE IN STEPHEN VOGT pic.twitter.com/wgqbSfwxGd— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 4, 2019
That was Vogt's first big league homer since Sept. 29, 2017.
"Obviously, just a day full of emotions to begin with," Vogt said afterwards. "Just so blessed and happy to be back in the big leagues and playing for this team. To get a chance to come into a game and contribute to a comeback win like that, it really was just emotional."
A rare win in Cincinnati
Great American Ball Park always will be a special place for Giants fans because of this:
The Giants haven't faced Latos since the 2012 NLDS, when Ryan Hanigan had a Hall of Fame reaction to a bad pitch: pic.twitter.com/6qbGUzU2mB— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 10, 2015
It's OK to stare at the picture for a few minutes. Maybe save it to your phone for a rainy day?
That 2012 comeback was legendary, but in recent years the trip to Cincinnati has been a nightmare, and not just because they try to serve you Skyline Chili everywhere. The Giants had lost seven straight there before that Friday night comeback, getting outscored by 43 runs.
Cincinnati is where we all kind of realized 2017 was going to be a disaster. That team went into GABP in early May and got outscored 31-5 over a weekend series. A year later the Giants took two of three at Dodger Stadium to climb back to .500, then got swept in Cincinnati. Within a few days, Buster Posey was having hip surgery and Andrew McCutchen was a Yankee.
So yeah, it felt pretty good in the clubhouse when the Giants overcame the deficit last year.
"We've had a tough time here," manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. "And then we come in here the first game and get down eight runs, you go, 'Oh man, there's something about this ballpark.' I can't say enough about how they battled and what some guys did to help us win that game."
A debut to forget
Vogt wasn't the only player to make his season debut that day. Tyler Beede was called up after dominating the Pacific Coast League, but he gave up seven earned in 2 1/3 innings. Great American Ball Park is one of the last places you want to have a young pitcher make his season debut, and the Giants would probably take a mulligan if they could have that decision back.
But Beede rolled with it and ended up showing flashes of his potential last year and this spring before Tommy John surgery shut him down. If you take that first game out, Beede's rookie season looks considerably better. His ERA drops from 5.08 to 4.63.