NLDS Game 2: Key matchup

October 7, 2012, 7:06 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO Here are a few key matchups, facts and figures as the Giants and Reds prepare to clash in Game 2 of their NL Division Series on Sunday at AT&T Park:-The Reds are starting Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 ostensibly to keep him away from livelier Great American Ball Park. But the right-hander, whose delivery is more straight-legged than a pair of trendy Levis, actually gave up more home runs on the road (16) than at home (10). Its a huge reversal from last season, when Arroyo served up 46 gopherballs 11 more than anyone else in the major leagues.Hunter Pence provides a bit of a scare for Arroyo; he is a .343 hitter (12 for 35) with two home runs, four doubles and a triple. Pence homered off Arroyo the last time he faced him, too although that was last year when he played for the Phillies. Almost all his career numbers came in hitter-friendly Cincinnati and Houston while Pence wore an Astros uniform.If the Giants need a pinch hitter while Arroyo is still in the game, Aubrey Huff owns a .522 average (12 for 23, 1 home run). Angel Pagan, while just a .217 hitter against Arroyo, has taken him deep twice in 23 at-bats.-The Reds might have tagged Matt Cain for six home runs in his three starts against them this season, but they face a much more difficult matchup with Game 2 starter Madison Bumgarner. The 23-year-old left-hander struggled down the stretch but has the good vibes to draw upon from his 1-hit shutout against the Reds on June 28.Reds manager Dusty Baker might be tempted to sit left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who is 1 for 16 lifetime against Bumgarner. But Ludwick is coming off a good game that included two catches in left field that otherwise lacked style points. Besides, Ludwick hit 10 home runs in just 118 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season.The Reds don't have any boffo performers against Bumgarner, but Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan each own a homer off him and Brandon Phillips is 3 for 7. Impressively, Votto an on-base machine has not drawn a walk while striking out four times in 11 career at-bats vs. the young lefty.-Expect the Reds to be aggressive on the basepaths. Among NL pitchers, only the Pirates A.J. Burnett and the Braves Tommy Hanson gave up more stolen bases than Bumgarner, whose pickoff move lacked the same effectiveness it had in earlier seasons. Opponents were successful in 27 of 37 tries against him. (Tim Lincecum wasnt far behind, and opponents were wildly successful while stealing in 25 of 27 attempts.)-The Giants hit a couple of ropes off Reds setup man Jonathan Broxton and put plenty of pressure on closer Aroldis Chapman, which might bode well for the rest of the series.Chapman, who battled shoulder fatigue in September, threw 28 pitches his most in a game since June 24. He has never appeared on a second consecutive day in his career after throwing that many pitches.

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