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Madison Bumgarner will start Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday as the San Francisco Giants face the St. Louis Cardinals.
The start times have been released for the 2012 National League Championship Series between the Giants and Cardinals.
Disgraced outfielder Melky Cabrera was reinstated to the Giants roster, but the team maintained their position that he wouldn't play in the postseason.
The Cincinnati Reds are going home after losing to the San Francisco Giants, 6-4, in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Naturally, Cincinnati fans are pretty depressed about what just happened.
One writer from Red Reporter talked about some of the positives, particularly the hitting of Ryan Ludwick.
Ryan Ludwick went 2 for 5 today, and both of his hits were the closest things the Reds had to momentum shifters. Ludwick hit an upper deck moon shot - his 3rd HR of the series - to cut the lead to 3, and he singled in the Reds 4th and final run in the ill-fated 9th inning rally. He did, really, what he'd done for the Reds all season long, but what had been the single largest staple of the Reds success this season, starting pitching, simple didn't get the job done. These are the punches we roll with.
Unfortunately, this year just wasn't meant to be for Cincinnati, as things didn't come together in time.
It was a fun ride, Ladies and Gents. This just wasn't the Reds' year. Remember way back in February when we were worried that this was the year we'd be "all-in," since Phillips would be gone, Rolen would be gone, and Votto would surely be traded? Yeah. I don't remember that, either.
The Reds looked like they were in a good spot after they took a 2-0 series lead by winning two games in San Francisco. Cincinnati beat San Francisco, 5-2, in Game 1 and shut them down in Game 2, 9-0, but the Giants seemed to only grow stronger as the series wore on. San Francisco won Game 3 in extra innings by a final score of 2-1, rolled to an 8-3 victory in Game 4, and then held on for a nail-biter in Game 5 to cap the rally.
The San Francisco Giants are NLDS champions, and react to their victory in game five in Cincinnati.
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 San Francisco Giants have done the impossible, completing a three-game sweep in Cincinnati to take the NLDS in five games 3-2.
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.
The Giants broke the stalemate in the fifth inning of game five in a big way, taking a 6-0 lead over the Reds.
Lineups for Game 5 of the NLDS between the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds.
Following the San Francisco Giants' 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night, Reds fans have seen the team's 2-0 series lead crumble and find themselves with their backs against the wall headed into a crucial Game 5 on Thursday at Great American Ballpark.
Cy Schourek of SB Nation's Reds blog Red Reporter is urging the team's fans to keep calm and carry on.
Relax. You'll be doing the same on November 8 no matter what, so just enjoy the last drops from the toothpaste tube of the season being squeezed out. No more death threats, no more hatred, just enthusiasm. Not because it's what the players need, Lord knows what that is but I do not. But cheer like you give a damn because it's the human thing to do. Cheer because we're all going to be worm meat soon enough so we may as well enjoy our gradually-quickening time here together. Cheer because nobody ever, on the day that pretty girl finally looked at him and smiled, wished for the sun to set.
Finding that calm will be easier said than done, as a loss on Thursday would be a disappointing end to a Reds season that saw the team win 97 games and run away with the NL Central.
Game 5 of the best-of-five series is scheduled to begin at 10:07 a.m. PT and will be televised on TBS.
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.
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.
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.
San Francisco Giants players react to their game 4 victory in Cincinnati.
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.
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.
The Giants' eight runs have come off 10 hits.
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
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.
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.
Mike Leake will get the start for the Reds in Game 4 against the Giants in place of the injured Johnny Cueto.
The Giants look to even the series against the Reds as Barry Zito makes his first postseason appearance in a Giants uniform.
Despite a total lack of offense on Tuesday, the Giants avoided elimination while gaining some impetus heading into game 4.
The Giants scored just two runs, but it was enough to defeat the Reds and avoid elimination in Game 3 of the NLDS.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 of the National League Division Series for the San Francisco Giants against the Cincinnati Reds, if necessary.
Homer Bailey will start in Game 3 of the NLDS as the Reds are planning on being cautious with ace Johnny Cueto.
Tim Lincecum provided hope to fans of the San Francisco Giants when he made only his third career relief appearance in Game Two of the NLDS on Sunday night .
The Giants have been struggling in the NLDS, and weren't getting much help from their home turf.
The NL West champion San Francisco Giants are one loss away from being swept out of the 2012 postseason.
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.
Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 3 of the NLDS against Homer Bailey.
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.
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
The Giants will need to re-group in a hurry after Saturday night's loss in game one of the NLDS.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto appeared to suffer an injury to his back/hip area after finishing his delivery on an 0-1 pitch to the second batter he faced , San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro, and he was forced to leave the game.
Cueto was unable to continue, forcing Reds manager Dusty Baker to go to the bullpen and summon right-handed reliever Sam LeCure.
The Reds ace threw just eight pitches in the game, striking out the first batter he faced before leaving in the middle of the second at-bat. Just a few pitches before Cueto motioned to the dugout, he did not finish his delivery during a sequence in which the Giants batter asked for time.
This is certainly a huge break for the Giants, considering the Reds have to turn to their bullpen virtually from the start of the game as opposed to facing one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this past year.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith arrived at AT&T Park to support the San Francisco Giants, donning a Giants jersey and hat. Smith later received a hearty applause when he walked into the Giants dugout, via Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News.
A California native, Smith is at the game to not only show his support of the Giants, but to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Giants, who will be taking on the Cincinnati Reds.
The quarterback had been fined $15,000 by the National Football League last year for wearing a Giants hat during a postgame press conference during the playoffs last year, because the gear was not approved by the NFL.
Now, he will be taking his arm to the mound, at least for one pitch. Game 1 of the NL Division Series starts at 6:30 p.m. PT at AT&T Park.
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.
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
The Giants are going to have a battle on their hands in the NLDS against the Reds.
Giants and Reds send Cy Young candidates Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto to the mound for Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
San Francisco Giants players talk about their game one match-up with the Cincinnati Reds.
The San Francisco Giants have released their 25-man roster for the NLDS.
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 manger Bruce Bochy is staying mum about who'll he will send out for game three of the NLDS.
The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds used solid pitching and hitting to make their way to the 2012 National League playoffs.
The oddsmakers in Vegas didn't give great odds to the Giants or Athletics to win the World Series this year.
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.
Many of baseball's national scribes are split between the Giants and Reds for the NLDS.
Taking a look at the Black and Orange's options leading into their series with the Reds.
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.
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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