Giants

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.

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.

Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Arizona Diamondbacks:
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P

Three teams chasing Giants in tight race for first overall pick

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USATI

Three teams chasing Giants in tight race for first overall pick

LOS ANGELES — The Giants have a pretty strong track record when picking in the top five of the MLB Draft. In 1985, they took Will Clark with the second overall selection, and Clark remains the highest-drafted player in franchise history. A year later, Matt Williams was taken third overall. Jason Grilli at No. 4 in 1997 is rather forgettable, but taking Buster Posey with the fifth pick in 2008 led to three titles. 

With a week of baseball remaining, the Giants are a lock to pick in the top four of next year’s draft. A few days ago, they looked like a pretty strong bet to pick first overall, but the standings — the bottom of them, at least — have tightened in recent days. Here’s a look at the contenders, so to speak … 

White Sox (63-92): No team went into tank mode this year quite like Chicago, with trades of just about every big piece on the roster. But a funny thing has happened … they’ve actually played decent baseball down the stretch. The White Sox are 11-12 in September after a blowout of the Royals on Sunday. They finish up with four against the Angels and three against the Indians, so they should get pretty close to 100 losses. 

Phillies (62-94): They have looked all along like the team to beat, but they hurt their top-pick chances by taking three of four from the Dodgers last week. They host the Nationals and Mets this week. 

Tigers (62-94): All of a sudden, they’re the biggest road block for the Giants. The Tigers have lost seven straight and they’re 4-20 in September. They finish up with three against the Royals and three against the Twins, and all six games are on the road. 

Giants (61-95): Can we stop for a moment and appreciate this. We’ve been talking about it for five months, but still, it’s pretty amazing that a $200 million team is headed into the final week with a very good shot at having the worst record in Major League Baseball. What an awful season this has been. Having said that, the Giants have not shown any signs of actually tanking, and manager Bruce Bochy said this weekend that he won’t shut any players down. So, it’s on to Phoenix, where the Giants have lost six of seven this season but the Diamondbacks might chill out a bit after clinching a postseason spot. They’ll face Zack Godley, Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke. The season ends with three at home against the Padres. The Giants have struggled against the Padres for the last year and a half, but they’ll have Matt Cain going in an emotional start and Madison Bumgarner will also get a game.