The San Francisco Giants will begin their quest for a World Series title on Saturday night as they take on the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series. Given their powerful offense and deep pitching staff, the Reds are going to be a very difficult team to handle in the best-of-five series.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean recently discussed Cincinnati's club and how good they really are. Here is the latest from his interview with Mercury News.
Sabean's main point: "This is as rough a first-round opponent as you can have." Why? Sabean said it's because of the Reds' lock down bullpen, and the HRs they can hit, especially at the Great American Ballpark, which will host Games 3-4-5, if the last two are necessary.
The biggest contrast in this series might be the ballparks they play in. AT&T Park is among the most spacious in the game and the ball typically does not carry at night. At Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, an innocent fly ball can sail over the short outfield walls. Whichever team makes the better adjustment might just come out victorious and advance to the NLCS.
Another key matchup to watch is Madison Bumgarner, Barry Zito and the Giants' left-handed relievers against left-handed sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.