Reds pregame notes: Bailey to start Game 3

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Reds pregame notes: Bailey to start Game 3

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Homer Bailey will start Game 3 of Cincinnati's National League Division Series Tuesday at Great American Ballpark, Reds manager Dusty Baker announced Sunday afternoon.Bailey was initially penciled in to start a Game 4, if necessary, with Mat Latos going in Game 3. But Latos pitched four innings of one-run relief in the Reds' 5-2 series-opening victory over the Giants after ace Johnny Cueto left following eight pitches with back spasms.There had been speculation that Cueto could start Game 3, if his health was fine.
Instead"You can't take a chance with Johnny, and we have to see exactly, we can't have him go out there again and have something else happen to him and come up short (with the bullpen) again," Baker said, "When he goes back out there we will make sure to the best of your knowledge that he's okay."RELATED: Vogelsong to start Game 3
In five career starts against the Giants, Bailey is 1-0 with a 5.59 earned-run average with a pair of blown saves costing him wins this season -- on April 26 in Cincinnati -- and in 2010.Bailey authored a no-hitter on Sept. 28 at Pittsburgh.Cueto's one batter and eight-pitch outing in Game 1 was the fewest batters faced by a starting pitcher in a postseason game in Major League history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous record of two batters had been held by Washington's Curly Odgen, who faced two hitters in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series, against the New York Giants.Also, per Elias, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who had three hits with a home run and three runs batted in, was the third Reds player in franchise history with at least three hits and three RBI in a postseason game since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920. The other Reds -- Tony Perez ( three hits, three RBI) in Game 2 of the 1975 National League Championship Series against Pittsburgh and Mariano Duncan (three hits, four RBI) in Game 3 of the 1990 NLCS against the Pirates.Baker, on Latos' relief appearance on the spur of the moment: "What Latos did last night is what championships are made of. Here is a guy over there relaxing in the dugout figuring that Johnny is going deep in the game and the next thing you know he's called into service. We try to give them an ample amount of time to get warm, to go in and get stretched out like starters usually do."Latos, meanwhile, said he would be ready, willing and available to start a potential Game 4 in Cincinnati."If they need me to," Latos said. "I threw only four innings and 60, 70 pitches, so it sucks that Johnny went down, and I don't think it's -- I'm young still so it's not like I'm Bronson (Arroyo, who is 35) where I have some miles on me. I'm able to, I feel real good, so if need be and I need to go Game 4, I will go Game 4."Baker said both Bailey and Cueto were flying back to Cincinnati early tonight.

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

While the Giants aggressively pursue a new closer, they haven't been aggressive for a new left fielder.

Angel Pagan is a free agent and isn't likely to come back. That leaves talented, but unproven youngsters Mac Williams and Jarrett Parker.

And for GM Bobby Evans, who is always looking for ways to improve the roster, it appears he is content going into the 2017 with Williamson and Parker filling the void in left field.

"Our mindset has been to keep an open mind in any way we can improve the club offensively. But that said, I feel like we've got a starting lineup today that we don't have to adjust or improve upon. I'd always like to find ways to improve it. I think there are some big market options, but we've got two young guys that we want to get a good evaluation on, and you can't really do that until they get major league at-bats. That's Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker and both of them are really in-waiting for an opportunity to get everyday playing time and show what they can do," Evans told ESPN's Buster Olney on Friday.

But Evans is keeping an open mind regarding acquiring a left fielder.

"That said, I also have to make sure that if we have an opportunity to improve or solidify our lineup in some way, I want to take advantage of it. But I can't lose sight of the benefit of developing our own guys and giving them a chance and not locking ourselves into keeping them from playing time in the next two to three years" Evans said.

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

As the Winter Meetings get set to begin in Washington, D.C. on Monday, the Giants still haven't crossed off the top item on their offseason wish list.

The closer role remains vacant.

Names like Mark Melancon and Greg Holland have been linked to the Giants over the last few weeks, but nothing has materialized.

On Friday, GM Bobby Evans provided an update while speaking with ESPN's Buster Olney.

"There's been a lot of signings and a number of trades. In many ways, more done prior to the winter meetings than in the last couple of years. We still are in process, relative to trade options, relative to free agent options, to be clear who's pitching the ninth inning for us. So we feel we have the makings of a good bullpen, we just need to be clear who's pitching the ninth. And we'd like to solidify that through the trade market or free agent market. It's progressing. We're a month into this process, so we have a lot more information. But ultimately, until we have a closer, we're still in the search mode.

There's a nice balance between both. It's just that, they both have costs. Relative to a trade, sometimes you're giving up, in some cases, one or more of your top prospects and other prospects below that. In the way of free agency, it's obviously an expenditure for a certain number of years that is elavated more on the supply and demand side. That said, there are some middle tier late inning options as well that may not be as demanding as some of the bigger names. Again, it's a balance of options trying to measure all three."