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Monday, October 08, 2012

Giants Have Backs to the Wall

With the first two games of the best-of-five series at home in AT&T Park, everybody was expecting a better showing than the Giants gave in games one and two.

In game one, the Giants came up just short, as their line drives seemed to all find Reds' fielders and Matt Cain wasn't quite himself. However, in game two, things got downright ugly. The Reds used the formula the Giants have been using most of the regular season to get to San Francisco in the first two match-ups, getting out to an early lead and then letting terrific pitching take them the rest of the way. I had a bad feeling right off the bat when Johnny Cueto went down in game one, and the Giants failed to muster anything up against LeCure and then Mat Latos. Normally you see the Giants take advantage of the opportunities they get, but they failed to do that in the opening game and it cost them. Then came game two, when the Giants got to face perhaps the Reds most beatable arm in Bronson Arroyo, and all he proceeded to do was hold them hit-less until the fifth inning, and look like Greg Maddux in the process. It really didn't matter that Madison Bumgarner wasn't on his game, cause the Giants didn't get anything going off Cinci arms in game two. That bullpen is no joke, we all knew that, but I was expecting the Giants to at least get a few rallys going off their starters.

Now the Giants backs are firmly to the wall as they travel to Cincinnati, exactly the position they didn't want to be in. Under the new playoff format, it all but required the Giants to win at least one of their home games but since they didn't, the only way they'll be seeing the NLCS this year is if they roll into Cinci and sweep the
Pagan, Scutaro Key for Game 3
upcoming 3 games. Not saying it's impossible, as they will have a shot vs. Homer Bailey Tuesday, but it's that dominant bullpen that really scares you. Now, in the Giants favor, they have been a much more offensive team on the road, and they'll be looking for anything to jump-start that lineup after the Reds dominated them 14-2 throughout the two games at AT&T. I think it's got to again start at the top. Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro were basically non-existent in games one and two after setting the tone for the Giants offense over much of the second half. In order for that middle of the order to be effective, they need those rabbits to be on base and creating havoc at the top. It's been so bad that the Giants have only gotten a few at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they aren't going to win any games with that formula.

Finally, they're going to need Ryan Vogelsong be the Vogey we saw the last few starts of the season, not the guy who had an ERA up near 10 throughout much of August and September. If Vogey is able to fend off the Reds potent attack Tuesday, and the Giants are able to get something going offensively, I would expect Cain to get the call in game four, but Lincecum may also now be in the mix. He threw a couple innings Sunday night in relief and looked impressive. Right now though, they need to take it one game at a time, and remember that they're one of the best road teams in all of baseball. Down 2-0, they're not completely out of it, but they'll need to be near perfect for 3 straight in Cinci to walk out of their victorious.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:05 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    Wouldn't you know it. The two worst games they play all year come in the playoffs. UGLY!

  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We're still alive. Everybody wants to count us out, but we're still in it. I have confidence in Vogey today but not sure about Zito starting game 4 if it gets there.

  • At 12:15 AM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Trevor, the Giants have put themselves up against the wall because of their curious inability to win games in front of the home crowd. They really have struggled all year long and only the last month's weak opponents cleaned up the home record for the year. They managed to delay elimination by squeeking out a win tonight, but they certainly cannot hope to win any more games with only 3 hits. The bad thing about their disappearing bats right now, is that the Reds are having starter problems, and the Giants should have the advantage, if only they could hit.

  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Ben said…

    Geez I'm almost too nervous to watch this one. Can't believe Zito's getting the ball instead of Lincecum, but guess he's earned it with the way he pitched the 2nd half.

  • At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Hostpph.com said…

    The best things, it is the there are more than one game and you can get back after loosing the first game.


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