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Giants vs. Reds, NLDS: San Francisco completes comeback with 6-4 win, advance to NLCS

Down 2-0 in the series, the Giants won three games in a row to win the National League Division Series. They will face the Cardinals or Nationals in the NLCS.

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Madison Bumgarner will start Game 1 of NLCS

Madison Bumgarner will start Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday as the San Francisco Giants face the St. Louis Cardinals.


NLCS TV schedule released for Giants vs. Cardinals

The start times have been released for the 2012 National League Championship Series between the Giants and Cardinals.


Giants reinstate Melky Cabrera to 40-man roster

Disgraced outfielder Melky Cabrera was reinstated to the Giants roster, but the team maintained their position that he wouldn't play in the postseason.


Giants confidence leads them to NLCS

The San Francisco Giants are NLDS champions, and react to their victory in game five in Cincinnati.


Giants fans thrilled to play another day

The San Francisco Giants pulled a game straight out of the 2010 schematic to win Game 5 of the 2012 National League Divisional Series 6-4 against the Cincinnati Reds. There was timely hitting, plenty of defense, and then pure, utter torture to eventually nail down the win.

Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles (and SB Nation's own Baseball Nation!) details the range of emotions he felt from yesterday's game. He felt pretty stoked that it was Buster Posey who sent the reviled Mat Latos packing with a game-breaking grand slam.

When Posey hit the grand slam, it had the feel of something you'd find on a scroll, or carved into a rune, deep in a desert cave.


There was so much joy. So much mirth. Buster Posey, the MVP, the everything of this team for the past seasons, for much, much better and much, much worse, had slain the Latos.

But then the Giants had to hold on for dear life as they gave the Reds chance after chance to climb back in this one. Brisbee details the pain.

And if you ever had a doubt about your ability to feel about the Giants after 2010, if you were wondering if you could become the same blubbering mess you were when Ryan Howard struck out looking, the answer is yes. This one did it. There you go. Proof. Baseball can still give you that awful, beautiful, completely unnecessary, wholly necessary feeling.

And then Brisbee talks about how thrilled he is to get to watch this team again.

Tim Lincecum will get a chance to start. Ryan Vogelsong will start another postseason game. Matt Cain will hopefully find what it was he lost between the fourth and fifth innings. Sergio Romo's arm will rest, as will Madison Bumgarner's.

The Giants will advance to the National League Championship Series to face the winner of tomorrow's Game 5 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals.


Giants make history with grit, determination

The San Francisco Giants have done the impossible, completing a three-game sweep in Cincinnati to take the NLDS in five games 3-2.


Giants advance to NLCS with 6-4 win over Reds

The Giants are headed to the National League Championship Series following their 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon. The Giants are the first team since the Boston Red Sox in 2003 to come back in a Division Series after dropping the first two games. Perhaps even more impressively, San Francisco won all three of their games in Cincinnati.

Buster Posey's grand slam capped off a six-run fifth inning for the Giants. Gregor Blanco singled to lead off the inning, and he was brought home with a triple by Brandon Crawford. After Matt Cain grounded out for the first out, Angel Pagan reached on a fielding error from shortstop Zack Cozart and brought home Crawford. Marco Scutaro walked and Pablo Sandoval singled to load the bases for the NL MVP candidate. It was a no-doubt shot to left field that silenced a capacity crowd.

The Reds battled back in the following innings. Brandon Phillips hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to four, 6-2. Ryan Ludwick then hit a solo homer to begin the sixth and the score became 6-3.

San Francisco's bullpen really settled in after Cain departed following six innings of work. The Reds put two on base with two outs in the eighth, but Pagan made a diving catch in center field to prevent any runs from scoring.

Sergio Romo remained in the game to pitch the ninth inning. He forced Phillips to pop up for the first out, but a Cozart walk and Joey Votto single made things very interesting. Ryan Ludwick singled to left to make the score 6-4. On the 11th pitch of the at bat, Jay Bruce popped a slider up into left field for the second out. With Scott Rolen at the plate – the same player who committed Game 3's crucial error in the 10th inning – struck out on a slider to end the game.

Next up, the Giants will face either the St. Louis Cardinals or Washington Nationals in the National League Championship Series.


Giants take 6-0 lead in game 5 of NLDS

The Giants broke the stalemate in the fifth inning of game five in a big way, taking a 6-0 lead over the Reds.


Buster Posey back at catcher for Game 5 of NLDS

Lineups for Game 5 of the NLDS between the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds.


Giants fans react to Game 4 victory

The San Francisco Giants offense finally got going in Game 4 of the National League Divisional Series to help rally the team to an 8-3 win and a 2-2 tie in the series. San Francisco piled up 11 hits on eight runs, and Tim Lincecum earned the win with four and one-third of an inning of relief work.

The Giants now get to go to Game 5 and try and become the first team since the 2005 White Sox to win all three games on the road. Matt Cain will head to the mound to face Reds pitcher Mat Latos.

In his recap, Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles talks about how it makes all sorts of sense that Cain would have to go up against Latos to try and advance to the NLCS.

And if they want to get to the NLCS, they have to get through Mat Latos in his lair. It had to be like this. Latos was supposed to pitch only once, but of course he was going to pitch twice. Of course he was going to pitch in Game 5.

He's going against Matt Cain, too. This is a match-up that can ruin our worldview. This is the ultimate triumph or the ultimate disillusionment. It's a little tacky to phrase this in terms of good versus evil, so I'll refrain from that. But this is a match-up of good versus evil. Mat Latos is empirically evil. Matt Cain is empirically good. There are journals and scholarly papers on this. I don't need to cite a thing.

Game 5 of the NLDS between the Reds and the Giants starts off at 10:07 a.m. ET, 1:07 p.m. PT on TBS.


San Francisco finds a way to force game 5

After three games of subpar play, the San Francisco Giants have fought their way into a game five at the Great American Ballpark on Thursday.


Giants players react to game 4 win

San Francisco Giants players react to their game 4 victory in Cincinnati.


Giants beat Reds 8-3 in Game 4, even NLDS

Thanks for some sterling relief work from Tim Lincecum (yes, Tim Lincecum), the San Francisco Giants have a solid shot at winning their Division Series despite losing the first two games at home.


San Francisco adds cushion to early lead over Reds

The San Francisco Giants lead the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 at the seventh inning stretch of Wednesday's Game 4 of the NLDS.

Angel Pagan got the Giants off to an immediate lead, drilling a home run during the game's first at-bat to put San Francisco on top 1-0. Gregor Blanco hit a two-run shot in the third before San Francisco added two runs with small ball in the fifth to go ahead 5-2.

The Giants broke the game open in the top of the seventh with another three runs. Marco Scutaro contributed a double to score a run and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run shot to add cushion to the lead. He is 2-for-3 with three RBI on the day.


On the mound, Barry Zito only went 2.2 innings and gave up two earned runs off four hits. He also walked four batters. The Reds started Mike Leake, who gave up six hits in 4.1 innings on the mound.

The Giants' eight runs have come off 10 hits.


Giants' Posey moves to 1B, Sanchez at C for Game 4

The San Francisco Giants face another elimination game on Wednesday when they meet the Cincinnati Reds in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS. The Giants will have a change in the lineup for the 1:07 PT start time, moving catcher Buster Posey to first base to keep him in the lineup. Hector Sanchez takes Posey's spot behind the plate, as Brandon Belt heads to the bench.

The Giants will send Barry Zito to the mound. The lefty went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA this season. It was his best record since coming to San Francisco in 2007. Zito has faced the Reds once in 2012, taking a loss despite allowing just one run in six innings.

Cincinnati counters with Mike Leake, who was added to the roster after Game 1 starter Johnny Cueto went down with back spasms. Leake has defeated the Giants once this season, a complete game June 29 in which he allowed just one run on nine hits and struck out four.

Complete lineups for both teams:


1. Angel Pagan (S) CF

2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

4. Buster Posey (R) 1B

5. Hunter Pence (R) RF

6. Hector Sanchez (S) C

7. Gregor Blanco (L) LF

8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS

9. Barry Zito (L) P


1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B

2. Zack Cozart (R) SS

3. Joey Votto (L) 1B

4. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF

5. Jay Bruce (L) RF

6. Todd Frazier (R) 3B

7. Dioner Navarro (S) C

8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF

9. Mike Leake (R) P


Reds fans happy with pitching, even in defeat

The San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds in Game 3 of the NLDS to avoid elimination, but the offense continued its series-long struggles. Reds pitching allowed just one earned run and no extra-base hits in the 10-inning affair.

Reds fans may be disappointed they couldn't close out the series on Tuesday, but are happy with what the team is getting from their starting pitching. Ace Johnny Cueto is out with an injury, and the rest of the staff needs to step up to fill the void. Reds blog Reds Reporter observed they have done just that:

Homer Bailey took a no-hitter into the 6th, continuing the dominance he displayed in his no-hitter in his last outing vs. the Pirates in the Regular Season. Bailey finished with a 1 hitter in his 7 IP, the second consecutive Reds starter to toss 7 innings of 1 hit baseball this postseason. Considering Cueto's unfortunate mystery oblique/back issue, it's rather awesome to see Arroyo recapture his past stuff, Bailey reach the lofty potential he always had, and Latos show that he's capable of surprise spontaneous spot-starts.

The Reds will send Mike Leake to the mound in Game 4. Leake was added to the playoff roster after Cueto went down with the back injury.

The Giants will counter with left-hander Barry Zito, who went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA on the season. San Francisco will try to stave off elimination again at 1:07 PT in Cincinnati.


Giants fans suffer through Game 3 win

The San Francisco Giants narrowly avoided elimination on Tuesday with a 2-1, extra-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Game 3 of the NLDS. The Giants won on an error by Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who is typically sure-handed.

The win wasn't exactly bliss for San Francisco fans, as they were just waiting for the other shoe to drop and the season to end. Grant Brisbee of SB Nation Giants blog McCovey Chronicles summed up his feelings on behalf of Giants fans after the game:

Instead, it was a game that allowed me to dust off my favorite, if overused, words at first. Feckless. Moribund. Soporific. The offense was a tranquilizer dart shot straight into your eyeball. It wasn't supposed to hurt. But then, you know, the eyeball part. It hurt. It hurt watching the Giants flail and fail, swing and miss and miss and swing, making Homer Bailey look like Matt Cain with an extra two feet on his fastball. You kept waiting for the Reds to drop the piano from the sixth story and get that bases-clearing double or two-out RBI bloop.

San Francisco will likely need a better offensive performance to avoid elimination again in Game 4. The Giants send Barry Zito to the mound. The left-hander went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA this season. He suffered a tough loss to the Reds on June 30, allowing just one run in six innings.

The Reds send Mike Leake to the mound. He tossed a complete game, giving up just one run, in his only start against the Giants this season.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. PT on Wednesday.


Giants face Reds' Mike Leake in Game 4

Mike Leake will get the start for the Reds in Game 4 against the Giants in place of the injured Johnny Cueto.


Giants remain despite lifeless offense

Despite a total lack of offense on Tuesday, the Giants avoided elimination while gaining some impetus heading into game 4.


Giants avoid elimination with 2-1 victory

The Giants scored just two runs, but it was enough to defeat the Reds and avoid elimination in Game 3 of the NLDS.


Game 3 headed to extra innings, tied 1-1

The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds are headed into extra innings, as they remain tied 1-1 in Game 3 of their National League Division Series.

After both teams scored relatively early in the game, the offenses have gone quiet. Neither team has scored since the third inning and both offenses have combined for just five hits. Homer Bailey and Ryan Vogelsong each pitched well, but this game will now come down to a battle of the bullpens.

The Giants' only hit of the game came in the sixth inning, when Marco Scutaro grounded a single through the right-side of the infield. San Francisco has had just three baserunners and none since the sixth inning. The Giants tapped into their bullpen in the sixth inning and have already used four relievers. Tim Lincecum remains available out of the bullpen and could be used for multiple innings.

Two Reds relievers combined to pitch two scoreless innings after Bailey allowed just one hit and one run over the first seven innings. Bailey struck out 10 batters.


Giants and Reds tied 1-1 after 7 innings

The Giants were unable to generate much offense against Reds starter Homer Bailey, and the teams remain tied, 1-1, through seven innings of Game 3 of the NLDS.

Bailey pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run on one hit while striking out 10 batters. Despite throwing just 88 pitches, Todd Frazier pinch-hit for Bailey in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bailey allowed just three baserunners with one hit, one walk and one hit batter.

The Giants picked up their first hit of the game with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Marco Scutaro grounded a ball through the right side of the infield to breakup Bailey's no-hitter bid. Bailey retired the next batter to end the inning, then shut down the Giants 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning.

Ryan Vogelsong lasted five innings for San Francisco, limiting the Reds to just one run. After allowing three hits and a run in the first inning, Vogelsong didn't allow a hit over his final four innings. Aubrey Huff pinch-hit for Vogelsong in the sixth and Jeremy Affeldt replaced him on the mound. Affeldt has pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit.


Game tied 1-1 through 4 innings

Attempting to stave off elimination, the San Francisco Giants are tied, 1-1, with the Cincinnati Reds after four innings in Game 3 of their National League Division Series. Cincinnati leads the best-of-five series, 2-0.

Ryan Vogelsong started the game for the Giants and got off to a bit of a rocky start, as he allowed three hits and a run in the bottom of the first inning. The inning could have been worse for the Giants, but Brandon Phillips was thrown out at third base after he tried to advance on a throwaway. Since that point, however, Vogelsong has settled down and hasn't allowed a hit since. He's struck out four batters, although his pitch count is already up to 83, possibly prompting an early exit.

The Giants tied the game two innings later, when Angel Pagan drove in Gregor Blanco with a sacrifice fly. While the Giants have one run, they are yet to collect their first hit off of Reds' starter Homer Bailey. Bailey has pitched four no-hit innings so far, walking just one while striking out five. Blanco got on base after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the third inning.


Giants vs. Reds: Starting lineups

The odds are against the San Francisco Giants as they try to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole in their best-of-five series with the Cincinnati Reds, and they'll look to right-hander Ryan Vogelsong to try to right the ship at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday.

Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37) had a stellar first half of the 2012 season -- going 7-4 with a 2.36 ERA before the All-Star break -- but struggled a bit in the second half, which had most Giants fans thinking Tim Lincecum might get the Game 3 start.

The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey (13-10, 3.68). The right-hander is coming off a perfect game less than two weeks ago, and will try to follow it up with a playoff-clinching win for the Reds.

The starting lineups are as follows:

San Francisco Giants

  1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
  2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B
  3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
  4. Buster Posey (R) C
  5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
  6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
  7. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
  8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
  9. Ryan Vogelsong (R) P

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
  2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
  3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
  4. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
  5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
  6. Scott Rolen (R) 3B
  7. Ryan Hanigan (R) C
  8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
  9. Homer Bailey (R) P
First pitch is scheduled for 2:37 p.m. PT at Great American Ballpark. The game will be televised on TBS.

Ryan Vogelsong tries to bring Giants back

Game 3 of the NLDS between the Reds and the Giants features Homer Bailey going up against Ryan Vogelsong. First pitch is scheduled for 5:37 PM ET, 2:37 PM PT.


Barry Zito will pitch Game 4 if Giants get there

Barry Zito will pitch Game 4 of the National League Division Series for the San Francisco Giants against the Cincinnati Reds, if necessary.


The Giants are hoping for better luck in the NLDS

The Giants have been struggling in the NLDS, and weren't getting much help from their home turf.


Giants on the verge of being swept out of playoffs

The NL West champion San Francisco Giants are one loss away from being swept out of the 2012 postseason.


Giants offense takes the night off in Game 2

In their Game 2 loss, the Giants managed only two hits against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and a pair of relievers. Cincinnati opened the scoring with Ryan Ludwick's solo homer in the second inning, and later scored three in the fourth and five more in the eighth.


Ryan Vogelsong to start for the Giants in Game 3

Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 3 of the NLDS against Homer Bailey.


Giants lineup unchanged for Game 2 of ALDS

The lineups for Game 2 of the NLDS will be the same as they were in Game 1, as the Giants look to even the best-of-five series.


Giants try to right ship with lefty Bumgarner

The San Francisco Giants try to get a split after falling to the Cincinnati Reds, 5-2, in Game 1 of their National League Division Series


Giants fall to Reds, shift focus to Sunday

The Giants will need to re-group in a hurry after Saturday night's loss in game one of the NLDS.


Giants lineup has Cain on the mound for Game 1

The San Francisco Giants begin their playoff run on Saturday when they face the Cincinnati Reds for Game 1 of the NLDS. The Reds have home-field advantage, but the first two games will be played in San Francisco before the series moves to Cincinnati.

Matt Cain takes the mound for the Giants coming off an excellent regular season. Cain went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the year, posting 193 strikeouts in 219⅓ innings pitched. He was limited to just 68 pitches in his last start, going five innings and allowing two runs against the Dodgers. Cain faced the Reds twice in 2012, losing both starts and giving up eight runs in 13 innings.

The Reds counter with Johnny Cueto. The right-hander went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA. He was strong last time out, tossing seven innings against the Pirates while allowing just one earned run. Cueto had one start against the Giants in the regular season, going six innings in a loss.

Veteran Scott Rolen has been given the nod over rookie Todd Frazier at third base for the Reds. Rolen had a .716 OPS on the year, while Frazier was at .829.

Full lineups for both teams:


1. Angel Pagan CF

2. Marco Scutaro 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval 3B

4. Buster Posey C

5. Hunter Pence RF

6. Brandon Belt 1B

7. Gregor Blanco LF

8. Brandon Crawford SS

9. Matt Cain P


1. Brandon Phillips 2B

2. Zack Cozart SS

3. Joey Votto 1B

4. Ryan Ludwick LF

5. Jay Bruce RF

6. Scott Rolen 3B

7. Ryan Hanigan C

8. Drew Stubbs CF

9. Johnny Cueto RHP


Cain, Cueto square in Game 1 by the Bay

Giants and Reds send Cy Young candidates Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto to the mound for Game 1 of the National League Division Series.


Giants ready for visiting Reds

San Francisco Giants players talk about their game one match-up with the Cincinnati Reds.


Giants vs. Reds game times announced

The Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants will start their National League Division Series on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:37 p.m. PT on TBS.


Giants playoff rotation remains a mystery

Giants manger Bruce Bochy is staying mum about who'll he will send out for game three of the NLDS.


Giants, Reds walk similar regular season paths

The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds used solid pitching and hitting to make their way to the 2012 National League playoffs.


Madison Bumgarner will start Game 2 of the NLDS

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed Madison Bumgarner as San Francisco's starting pitcher in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

While the Giants' postseason rotation still has plenty of question marks, the Game 2 starter was never one of them. Matt Cain was the obvious choice to start the series opener, but Bumgarner has been penciled into the second slot for a while.

He finished the regular season with a 16-11 record and 3.37 ERA, and if he is able to replicate the postseason success he had in 2010, the Giants could have a major advantage heading into the playoffs. Bumgarner made four postseason appearances in 2010, allowing just five runs over 20 ⅔ innings while striking out 18. That included eight shutout innings against the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the World Series.

While the first two spots in the rotation are set, Bochy chose not to announce the rest of the rotation. Instead, he said Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum will be available out of the bullpen for the weekend games.


Taking a look at the Giants postseason roster

Taking a look at the Black and Orange's options leading into their series with the Reds.


Will Ryan Vogelsong make the Giants NLDS rotation?

After a strong outing in the Giants' regular season finale, the right-hander has to be considered for a spot at the back end of the team's NLDS rotation.


Posey clinches NL batting title

After missing the majority of the 2011 season with injury, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey came back with a vengeance in 2012, clinching the National League batting title on Wednesday and perhaps the NL Most Valuable Player award as well.

Buster was pulled early in the Giants matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, finishing 0-2 with a .336 batting average for the season. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was his closest competitor, going 1-3 against the Atlanta Braves to conclude the year with a .327 average.

Along with a .408 OBP, 24 home runs, 103 RBI and a 27 percent caught stealing percentage, Buster Posey is making a very strong case for National League MVP, especially with his play in the second half, as he has a .388 average after the All-Star break. That's not to mention helping his team go 48-27 after the break while the Giants lost Melky Cabrera.

Along with Posey and McCutchen, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is a leading candidate to win the MVP this year as well.

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