Ross adds NLDS heroics to Giants dossier
August waiver pickup comes up big to help new club advance
ATLANTA -- Cody Ross had been out on the field doing interviews after his huge performance in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Monday, so he was a little late to the clubhouse party.
"Gimme some! Gimme some!" Ross shouted as he entered the scrum of players celebrating in the visitors' clubhouse at Turner Field.
Oh, they gave him some, all right. Enough adult beverages to get a fraternity through a weekend immediately poured all over the outfielder's shaven head.
"Can't breathe! Can't breathe!" he said, laughing as he ran out of the sudsy shower he'd so gleefully requested and received.
Funny to think, this is a guy who wasn't even on the Giants' roster as recently as Aug. 21, picked up -- after being surprisingly let go by the Marlins -- on a waiver claim Aug. 22. In the span of a few weeks, he'd become an integral part of the evolving roster the Giants have ridden all the way to the NL Championship Series, taking over as the starter in right field and stepping up as a postseason hero.
"Whoever thought a month and a half ago I'd be in this situation and celebrating like this?" Ross said. "It's just a joy to be a part of it. I'm just so thankful to the Giants for getting me over here, however it was -- I don't know, and I don't care.
"It's something you dream of as a kid, and you hope for, and tonight was just so special when that final out was made."
Ross came up with the performance of a lifetime in the Giants' clinching victory, tying the game in the sixth with a solo home run that ended Derek Lowe's no-hit bid, and then delivering the game-winning hit with a single through the left side of the infield in the seventh.
That gave him three RBIs for the series, and considering he'd had only seven in the regular season, due mainly to his short stint of 33 games with 17 starts, that's a pretty good haul. In fact, Ross set a standard with his Game 1 RBI, as no other player had so few RBIs for a team in the regular season and registered a postseason RBI, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
That he came through on the biggest stage of his life is a source of pride for Ross, but it doesn't come as a surprise.
"Obviously, you want to perform well on the big stage and do what you think you're capable of doing as a person," Ross said. "Everybody in here knows we're capable of being the best, otherwise we wouldn't be here. I had all the confidence in the world in myself I was going to get the job done.
"Yesterday, I took an oh-fer and I put it behind me, and today I came back and got a couple of hits to help the team, and that's what it's all about."
Those in the Giants' clubhouse who knew Ross before he arrived weren't surprised, either.
"I always thought he was the kind of guy who's got a flair for the dramatic, and he had a couple of great hits today," first baseman Aubrey Huff said.
Game-tying homers and game-winning singles in an NLDS clincher certainly qualify as dramatic.
"What a great addition for us, for this ballclub," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He plays both sides of the ball so well, and the big hits he's gotten -- I mean, Lowe is throwing the ball so well, he made it look easy out there, and Cody hit the home run. It just seemed like he charged up the ballclub, and of course he got another hit [to win the game].
"You just look for something to get you going, and he got us going. He's done that down the stretch."
Not bad for a 5-foot-10 kid with pop who hails from New Mexico, born in Portales and a four-year performer for the Carlsbad High Cavemen. Not bad for a veteran outfielder the Marlins decided wasn't worth bringing back to their organization when the Giants claimed him off waivers, reportedly at least in part so they could block the NL West rival Padres from getting him.
Ross said the ordeal of being on waivers and being let go by a team he'd played for since 2007 was difficult at first.
"I was sad, I was humbled," Ross said.
It soon turned into the best move of his career, as evidenced by Monday night's events and that sudsy shower he enjoyed so breathlessly -- literally.
"It was an emotional time [in August], but once I realized where I was going and the opportunity I was going to have, I was so excited," Ross said. "I don't even think the Giants thought the Marlins would not pull me back. I think it came as a surprise to everybody.
"You know, the past is the past. I'm glad I'm where I'm at now, and I'm happy to be here and I'm just enjoying the ride."
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.