Giants-Reds, NLDS Game 3: Matchup notes


Giants-Reds, NLDS Game 3: Matchup notes

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.

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.