You might argue that the San Francisco Giants' fabled starting pitching has let them down, in these first two Division Series games against the Cincinnati Reds.
In Game 1, ace Matt Cain lasted only five innings and the Giants lost. In Game 2, young Madison Bumgarner couldn't survive the fifth inning and the Giants lost.
In the two games, though, the Giants scored the grand total of two runs.
In Game 1, it was a squadron of relief pitchers who turned the Brobdingnagians into Lilliputians. With only two runs on the board, it really wouldn't have mattered who pitched for them.
In Game 2, it was mostly Bronson Arroyo. True, Bumgarner and his successors ultimately gave up nine runs. But it could have been one or two runs with the same result, because the Giants didn't score at all.
Oh, the hitting. The Giants didn't do any of it, but the Reds did a lot. Particularly in the fourth, when Ryan Hanigan's two-run single capped a three-run rally, and in the eighth, when extra-base hits from Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Phillips keyed a five-run outburst.
In fact, the Giants didn't even have a hit until the fifth, when Brandon Belt broke up Arroyo's bid for immortality with a clean single up the middle. And that was all they would get against Arroyo, who finally left after the seventh inning merely in the interesting of conserving his strength for later in this month; when he left, the Reds were ahead 9-0.
J.J. Hoover pitched the eighth for Cincinnati. He didn't give up a hit, either.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Pablo Sandoval hit a long double for the Giants' second hit. But after Buster Posey walked, Jose Arredondo finished off the Giants getting Hunter Pence on a ground-out.
There was one tiny morsel of good news for the Giants in Game 2. Tim Lincecum, the erstwhile ace who's been demoted to the bullpen for this series, pitched two innings of relief and looked mighty impressive. If the Giants are going to come back and win three straight games in Cincinnati -- hey, stranger things have happened, though not many -- they'll probably need contributions from almost everyone, and it's good to know Lincecum's not allergic to bullpens.