These Reds and Yankee hitters were a swing away from being heroes

The Reds shockingly blew a 2-0 series lead where the Giants were on the ropes.
The Yankees almost as shockingly are playing for their lives in a Game Five this afternoon against Baltimore.

Both teams not only were in control but there were several moments where a single swing of the bat could have made an instant legend out of a player and send their team to the LCS.

A walk off home run would have clinched it. In a few cases, a home run would not have been necessary.

The Reds are going to be stewing over a very long winter wondering what could have been.
If the Yankees lose today, they will be tormented by missed opportunity after missed opportunity.

But we here at Sully Baseball don’t just think about things like the players who could have clinched a playoff series with one swing.

We list them in alphabetical order (because some hitters had more than one shot!)

Reds hitters who could have clinched the Division Series with one swing
Game 5 Giants leading 6-4, one out, bottom 9 against Sergio Romo. Runners on first and second. Home run would have clinched the series.
Hit a fly ball to left field.
Game 3 tied 1-1, one out, bottom 9 against Sergio Romo. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Hit a deep fly ball to center field that was caught.
Game 3 tied 1-1, nobody out, bottom 9 against Sergio Romo. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Hit a deep foul ball that was caught in left field.
Game 5 Giants leading 6-4, two outs, bottom 9 against Sergio Romo. Runners on first and second. Home run would have clinched the series.
Struckout swinging.

Game 3 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 9 against Sergio Romo. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Hit a pop up to the second baseman.
Yankees hitters who could have clinched the Division Series with one swing
Game 4 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 10 against Darren O’Day. Runner on first. Extra base hit would have clinched the series.
Popped up to shortstop.

Curtis Granderson
Game 4 tied 1-1, one out, bottom 9 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Flew out to deep center field.

Game 4 tied 1-1, no outs, bottom 12 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.

Struck out swinging, catcher to first after dropped ball.

Raul Ibanez
Game 4 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 9 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Grounded to first base.

Derek Jeter
Game 4 tied 1-1, no outs, bottom 10 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Grounded to third base.

Game 4 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 12 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Groundout to third.

Russell Martin
Game 4 tied 1-1, no outs, bottom 9 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Grounded to third base.

Game 4 tied 1-1, two out, bottom 11 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Struck out swinging, catcher to first after dropped ball.

Eduardo Nunez

Game 4 tied 1-1, one outs, bottom 12 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Groundout to third.

Alex Rodriguez
Game 4 tied 1-1, no outs, bottom 11 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Grounded out to shortstop.

Ichiro Suzuki
Game 4 tied 1-1, one out, bottom 10 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Grounded out to first base.

Game 4 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 12 against Pedro Strop. Runner on first. Extra base hit would have clinched the series.
Grounded out to first base.

Nick Swisher
Game 4 tied 1-1, one out, bottom 11 against Pedro Strop. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Flyball out to deep left field.

Mark Teixeira
Game 4 tied 1-1, two outs, bottom 10 against Darren O’Day. Bases empty. Home run would have clinched the series.
Walked.

So four Reds hitters went a combined 0-5 in potential series clinching at bats.
Ten Yankee hitters went a combined 1-13 with a walk in potential series clinching at bats.

If the Yankees join the Reds on the golf course, then they will be wondering what could have been if their at bats went a little differently.

If a drive out of the ballpark would have turned them into instant legends instead of post season footnotes.

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