|CINCINNATI ( CUETO )|
SAN FRANCISCO ( CAIN )
|NL Division Series - Best of 5 - Game 1|
|905||CINCINNATI||-105||Ov 6.5,+100||+110||Ov 6.5,+100|
|906||SAN FRANCISCO||-105||Un 6.5,-120||-120||Un 6.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||65-47||+6||40-61||4.0||0.250||0.311||3.6||0.245||0.298|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.5||0-7||1.9||0.211||0.254||1.7||0.202||0.260|
|vs Right-handed Starters||54-49||-2.8||54-45||4.3||0.267||0.332||4.1||0.245||0.306|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.5||3-4||3.9||0.260||0.324||3.9||0.247||0.299|
|9/22/2012||LATOS(R)||LA DODGERS||FIFE(R)||6-0||W||-180||8 ev||U||8||8||0||6||5||1|
|9/23/2012||BAILEY(R)||LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)||3-5||L||+135||7.5 un||O||6||10||1||8||5||1|
|9/28/2012||BAILEY(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)||1-0||W||-115||7 un||U||7||4||1||0||1||0|
|9/29/2012||LEAKE(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||MCPHERSON(R)||1-2||L||-125||8.5 ev||U||7||9||2||8||12||0|
|9/30/2012||CUETO(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||RODRIGUEZ(L)||4-3||W||-150||7.5 un||U||10||7||3||7||7||0|
|10/1/2012||ARROYO(R)||@ ST LOUIS||GARCIA(L)||2-4||L||130||7.5 un||U||6||5||0||9||6||1|
|10/2/2012||LATOS(R)||@ ST LOUIS||CARPENTER(R)||3-1||W||115||7 ov||U||8||7||0||6||6||0|
|10/3/2012||BAILEY(R)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||0-1||L||-140||7.5 un||U||3||5||0||9||9||1|
|10/6/2012||CUETO(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||CAIN(R)|| |
|10/7/2012||ARROYO(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)|| |
|10/9/2012||LATOS(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)|| |
|9/22/2012||BUMGARNER(L)||SAN DIEGO||WERNER(L)||8-4||W||-175||7 un||O||11||6||1||7||4||1|
|9/23/2012||PETIT(R)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||4-6||L||+145||7.5 un||O||9||7||2||11||8||1|
|9/28/2012||VOGELSONG(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||WERNER(L)||3-1||W||-115||7 ev||U||10||10||2||7||7||1|
|9/29/2012||BUMGARNER(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||3-7||L||-125||7 un||O||7||6||1||9||5||0|
|9/30/2012||LINCECUM(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||VOLQUEZ(R)||7-5||W||110||7.5 ev||O||12||8||1||6||4||0|
|10/1/2012||CAIN(R)||@ LA DODGERS||HARANG(R)||2-3||L||-110||7 un||U||6||5||0||9||8||0|
|10/2/2012||ZITO(L)||@ LA DODGERS||CAPUANO(L)||4-3||W||170||7.5 ov||U||10||4||0||10||7||1|
|10/3/2012||VOGELSONG(R)||@ LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)||1-5||L||180||6.5 un||U||3||5||1||8||4||0|
|10/9/2012||LINCECUM(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)|| |
|CINCINNATI: HITTING: 2B BRANDON PHILLIPS sparked the Reds offense after moving to the top of the order. But his free-swinging makes him a bad fit there. SS ZACK COZART played in only 11 games for the Reds before wrecking his non-throwing elbow, but it was still enough to convince the team they'd seen enough of PAUL JANISH in the starting role. 1B JOEY VOTTO keeps punishing pitchers. OF JAY BRUCE is in his gawky, teenage phase, but he's already emerged as a major power source. OF DREW STUBBS must cut down on his MLB-leading 206 strikeouts. He's out of the leadoff spot now, but those whiffs don't play well anywhere in the lineup. OF CHRIS HEISEY should get the starting nod in left now that Yonder Alonso is out of the picture. 3B SCOTT ROLEN is a permanent health question mark. His backup, JUAN FRANCISCO, swings for the fences. C DEVIN MESORACO is the most hyped catching prospect since Matt Wieters. RYAN HANIGAN will split squatting responsibilities with him. |
STARTING PITCHING: Considered a source of strength entering the 2011 campaign, the Reds rotation directly caused their undoing. The first step toward a remedy was trading for MAT LATOS, who began 2011 slow and got stronger as the year went on. The 24-year-old threw at least six innings with 5+ K in 16 of his final 17 starts (2.94 ERA). But that was in a much more pitcher-friendly environment. He has a decent career road ERA (3.57), and Cincy will surely give him much better run support than he received in San Diego. Last year's pitching problems began with BRONSON ARROYO, who gave up more home runs in a season than any pitcher in this millennium. He allowed more HR (46) than walks (45). JOHNNY CUETO was the one big bright spot; he hasn't maintained the strikeout rates he flashed early in his career, but he's All-Star caliber. HOMER BAILEY was a disappointment, going 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA. MIKE LEAKE actually pitched pretty well after he got his first taste of the minors to get his mechanics worked out.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Francisco Cordero flying the coop, and newcomer RYAN MADSON lost for the season with Tommy John Surgery, Cincinnati will use a closer-by-committee approach. The Reds gave up three players, including starter Travis Wood, to acquire SEAN MARSHALL, who should fit in nicely as a set-up man who's tough on both right-and left-handed batters. AROLDIS CHAPMAN is listed as the main set-up man for Marshall, but he missed out on winter ball and could be too raw to trust in the ninth inning. LOGAN ONDRUSEK is also capable of being a decent closer, with a big fastball.
|SAN FRANCISCO: HITTING: The Giants scored the second-fewest runs in the majors. But the additions of OF MELKY CABRERA (.305 BA, 18 HR, 87 RBI, 102 runs) and OF ANGEL PAGAN (32 SB) at the top of the order will certainly help. C BUSTER POSEY's surgically repaired ankle should be fully healed for the start of the season, and the 25-year-old's .368 OBP is certainly needed. 3B PABLO SANDOVAL was the team's best hitter in 2011 (.315 BA, 23 HR, 70 RBI) and was the only legitimate power source. The right side of the infield consists of veteran players past their prime. 1B AUBREY HUFF had his worst season, hitting .246 with 12 HR, but the 35-year-old will continue to bat in the middle of the lineup. 2B FREDDY SANCHEZ, 34, missed 50+ games for the third straight year as he suffered a torn labrum. SS BRANDON CRAWFORD has a slick glove but he's not close to being a legitimate major-league hitter (.204 career BA). OF BRANDON BELT, 23, has future star potential, but will be in a reserve role. OF NATE SCHIERHOLTZ (.756 OPS) provides a reliable bat in right field. |
STARTING PITCHING: San Francisco ranked second in the majors in ERA (3.28), strikeouts (5.4 per game) and Opp. BA (.237). TIM LINCECUM was the ace once again with a 2.74 ERA and 220 strikeouts, but carried a sub-.500 record (13-14). Including playoffs, Lincecum has thrown an average of 230 innings per season since 2008. MATT CAIN also had a phenomenal year, carting a 2.88 ERA, team-best 1.08 WHIP and fanning 179 batters. He allowed only nine home runs in 221.2 innings of work. 22-year-old lefty MADISON BUMGARNER had a solid first full season, finishing with a 3.21 ERA, and a 4.2 K-to-BB ratio (191 strikeouts, 46 walks). RYAN VOGELSONG was an unbelievable story, returning to the majors for the first time since 2006 and going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA. Although he's 34, his arm has plenty of innings left. BARRY ZITO will likely earn the final spot in the rotation as prospect ERIC SURKAMP gets more seasoning in Triple-A. Zito posted a career-worst 5.87 ERA while Surkamp carted a 1.84 WHIP in six starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: The success of the San Francisco bullpen hinges on BRIAN WILSON, who had a down year (1.47 WHIP, 54 K, 31 BB) because of elbow problems. Surgery was not required for his ailment, so expect a nice bounce-back season from this elite closer. If Wilson gets injured again, SERGIO ROMO could get called upon in the late innings. But even if he doesn't save a game, he still has plenty of value as a set-up man, notching a gaudy 13.1 strikeout rate and 0.71 WHIP last year. In 48 innings, he struck out 70 batters and only walked five. JEREMY AFFELDT is the top lefty in the Giants pen. He notched a strong 2.63 ERA and also tallied a career-best 1.15 WHIP last year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (CINCINNATI-SAN FRANCISCO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with details, quotes. With AP Photos.)
*Reds-Giants Preview* =====================
By JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball Writer
Cincinnati (97-65) at San Francisco (94-68), 9:37 p.m. EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Minus his old signature toothpick, Cincinnati's Dusty Baker leaned against the batting cage intently watching his players just as he did for a decade managing the Giants.
Baker is back in the Bay Area for the playoffs, 10 years after he came so close to winning a World Series with San Francisco.
"Well, I really don't have much choice," Baker said when asked if it's a strange coincidence. "I feel comfortable here. I think my team likes coming here. This is a good town."
Sometimes Baker still feels the sting of that World Series near-miss, even now, two managerial stops removed from his first career gig as a skipper in the place he has long called home.
On Saturday, he figures to be cheered by 40,000-plus fans at AT&T Park who still love him - "some of `em," he quipped - when the NL Central champion Reds open their best-of-five division series against the Giants, who like Cincinnati clinched early and had plenty of time to get everything situated and lined up for the postseason.
"I'll be honest, I like this clinching early thing," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose 2010 World Series championship team clinched in Game 162.
These days, the 63-year-old Baker is conserving energy after a recent 11-game absence forced by a mini-stroke and irregular heartbeat. He just rejoined the Reds on Monday in St. Louis. Baker was away for the NL Central clincher, and Homer Bailey's no-hitter at Pittsburgh last Friday night.
He's ready to go now - with no plans to change a thing about the way he operates during a game on the playoff stage.
"I'm feeling like a grateful man," Baker said from his spot at the cage on a sunny fall afternoon in the Giants' waterfront ballpark.
Cincinnati's 19-game winner Johnny Cueto takes the ball in Game 1 on Saturday night.
Matt Cain (16-5) pitches the opener for the Giants with plenty of postseason cred to fall back on: The three-time All-Star didn't surrender an earned run during his team's improbable title run two years ago. He went 2-0 in three starts and 21 1-3 innings, struck out 13 and walked seven.
Cain won his final six regular-season decisions and struck out 193 batters in 219 1-3 innings this season. The right-hander hasn't lost in 10 starts since Aug. 6 at St. Louis.
He earned himself a new $127.5 million, six-year contract before the season as he'd so hoped, then backed that up by tossing the first perfect game in franchise history June 13 against the Houston Astros.
"This group has been together since the beginning and we all had the thought that this is where we wanted to be in spring training," Cain said.
The Barry Bonds-led Giants fell six outs short of a World Series title in Game 6 against the wild-card Angels, then lost Game 7. And Baker was gone shortly thereafter, off to the Windy City for the daunting challenge of managing the Chicago Cubs.
Nobody will forget that terrifying moment when Baker's then-3 1/2-year-old son, Darren, wandered into a play at the plate and almost got run over in Game 5 at AT&T Park. That led to the "Darren Baker" bat-boy rule as it became known - no toddlers working as bat boys, and a new age requirement of 14.
"Sometimes it stings at me, but you've got to leave it in the past," Baker said. "You can't live in the future and stay in the past. But I'm still here. I have an opportunity to win a championship here, and it lets you know exactly that time never stops. Time goes very quickly. Doesn't seem like 10 years ago, doesn't seem like 10 years ago my boy was 3 years old, being pulled off the mound. It lets me know that I'm getting older."
Two years ago, the Giants finally captured the city's first baseball championship since the franchise came West from New York in 1958. Two years ago, Baker's Reds won the division and were swept right out of October by the Phillies and even got no-hit by Roy Halladay in the process.
Both are back in the playoffs after failing to make it in 2011. Both dealt with devastating injuries and lost their closers: San Francisco's Brian Wilson and Cincinnati's Ryan Madson.
Everybody involved knows these games could be interesting for a pair of clubs comfortable in close games - three of this season's seven meetings were decided by one run.
"It's going to be really electric, really emotional," Giants center fielder and leadoff man Angel Pagan said.
Baker may still be returning to his former energetic self, but you wouldn't know it by his quick wit and good-natured approach to everything and everybody.
That is what made it so hard on everyone in San Francisco when he departed on difficult terms with former managing partner Peter Magowan that fall of 2002. Yet Baker certainly will be given his due Saturday.
"We'll see if they still love me on Sunday if we start off 2-0," he joked with a smile.
Sticking to a healthy diet designed by grown daughter Natosha and wife Melissa, Baker went out for dinner Thursday night "with a couple of my home boys I grew up with" and ordered tomato soup, tomato salad and fish. He was headed for Filipino food Friday.
"He's in really good spirits and good health," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He had a little scare. He's back stronger and better than ever - we're very fortunate."
Baker feels so good, in fact, he plans to manage again in 2013. Right now, he has an unsettled contract situation, but points out that's nothing new to him. Throughout his recent ordeal, Baker pondered that maybe his best option is to stay put right where he is - if the Reds will keep him around.
"This is about the 10th time I've been through this," he said. "The only thing that's in my control is to win ballgames, and God is always taking care of me."
Even Jocketty sees the significance as Baker returns to the place where he started as a manager. The place he was honored earlier this summer during the Reds' trip to San Francisco, as part of a tribute to the '02 team.
"It is kind of ironic," Jocketty said. "I know he's excited about being here and being part of this. He feels very confident about our club. He thinks this is our year, and I think he's right."
|Last Updated: 9/15/2014 6:27:39 AM EST|