Giants-Reds, NLDS Game 3: Matchup notes

October 9, 2012, 5:29 pm
Share This Post

CINCINNATI Strange but true: For all their torture, the 2010 Giants didnt play an elimination game all year long.Even if they had lost to the San Diego Padres on the final day of that regular season, they wouldve merely fallen into a one-game playoff.Their backs are against the wall, truly, as they take the field on a chilly Tuesday night for Game 3 of their NL Division Series with the Cincinnati Reds.Here are notes on key matchups for both starting pitchers:--The Reds didnt intend for Homer Bailey to start Game 3, but he would appear to be one heck of a fallback after Johnny Cuetos injury in the series opener blew up manager Dusty Bakers pitching plans.The 6-foot-3 right-hander is a classic fastball-slider pitcher who no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates in his second-to-last start of the regular season.He also outdueled Ryan Vogelsong, his Game 3 opponent, when they pitched against each other April 26. Bailey left with a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning but lost his decision when Angel Pagan hit a three-run homer in the ninth off lefty Sean Marshall.REWIND: Pagan's homer in ninth lifts Giants to comeback win over Reds
But there is a reason the Reds wanted to stay away from using Bailey at Great American Ball Park. Hes 4-8 with a 5.16 ERA in 17 starts at home much different numbers than his 9-2 record and 2.32 ERA in 16 road starts. Hes allowed 21 of his 26 home runs on the banks of the Ohio River, too.No current Giants have hit a homer off Homer, although Brandon Belt and Joaquin Arias both went 2 for 3 against him in April. Angel Pagan is 3 for 7 with an RBI.Bailey's only other postseason experience was in 2010, when he threw two scoreless relief innings.--Ryan Vogelsongs ERA by month does not trend favorably: 4.19 in April, 1.51 in May, 2.02 in June, 2.18 in July, 6.32 in August and 6.46 in September.RELATED: Ryan Vogelsong 2012 game logs
But he clamped down for just one earned run over his final three starts, and he beat the Reds July 1 when he held them to two runs in seven innings.Vogelsongs five-pitch mix -- fastball, slider, cutter, changeup and curve play against left-handers as well as right-handers. When his two-seamer has its familiar break, hes successful at keeping the ball in the park.But the Reds provide a couple difficult matchups, including Brandon Phillips (7 for 14 and Jay Bruce (4 for 12 with a home run). The Reds were able to take advantage of Madison Bumgarners aggressiveness by not trying to do too much and serve pitches up the middle. Vogelsong is more the type who refuses to give in, and will throw breaking balls with a 3-2 count. Its almost a guarantee hell pitch that way, as any one mistake could extinguish the Giants season in this elimination game.This is Vogelsong's first career postseason appearance.--Tom Browning will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. When Browning threw his perfect game in 1988, it was the first by an NL player since Sandy Koufax did it 23 years earlier.That just makes it all the more remarkable that weve seen three perfect games in the major leagues this season, and five in the past three years.

More Team Talk