The San Francisco Giants are looking for a series split when they take on the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of a four-game set down 2-1. Tim Lincecum was shelled for seven runs in about four innings of work in game three, and while the panic button has yet to be pressed, many are wondering if it's because of the injury to Buster Posey. Whatever it is, San Francisco can't have their ace losing those kinds of games and expect to maintain their lead in the NL West over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jonathan Sanchez will take the mound to try and salvage the series with a split. Sanchez is 4-4 in 13 stars with a 3.51 earned run average, and was handed a loss in his last outing, giving up two runs in five innings to the Washington Nationals. He's 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA against the Reds, and was beaten up in his last outing against them, giving up five runs in four innings last August ... the Giants did end up winning that game 16-5, however. Sanchez has looked like a different pitcher every time he's seen the mound this season, he'll need to be on point for this game.
Then again, even if he's on point, he may not get the win, like Madison Bumgarner in his start this series. The Giants offense hasn't been able to keep up at this point, failing to consistently hit. Miguel Tejada had his seven-game hitting streak broken on Saturday, and Freddy Sanchez went down with a shoulder injury on Friday. Infielder Bill Hall didn't help things at all on Saturday, not that anybody expected him to, he went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
Cincinnati will send Edinson Volquez to the mound, fresh off a win in his last outing (following two wins at Triple-A Louisville). Volquez pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, getting the win in a Reds 8-2 beatdown. Counting the starts before his stint in the minors, Volquez is 4-2 in eleven starts with a 5.75 ERA. The Giants can get runs off of him if they're playing their best, but ... who knows if they will do that?