NLCS Game Four – Giants v. Cardinals

With the Giants down 2-1 in the series, it’s Tim Lincecum facing off against Adam Wainwright. The lineups:

Giants
1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 1B Buster Posey
4. 3B Pablo Sandoval
5. C Hector Sanchez
6. RF Hunter Pence
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Tim Lincecum

Cardinals
1. CF Jon Jay
2. 1B Matt Carpenter
3. LF Matt Holliday
4. RF Allen Craig
5. C Yadier Molina
6. 3B David Freese
7. 2B Daniel Descalso
8. SS Pete Kozma
9. SP Adam Wainwright

NLCS Game Two – Cardinals v. Giants

You should expect some inactivity on this blog over the next several days because, well, life. I’ll do my best to find time to post here, though.

Anyway, via Alex Pavlovic, here are today’s lineups (same as yesterday):

1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
4. C Buster Posey
5. RF Hunter Pence
6. 1B Brandon Belt
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Ryan Vogelsong

Cardinals
1. CF Jon Jay
2. RF Carlos Beltran
3. LF Matt Holliday
4. 1B Allen Craig
5. C Yadier Molina
6. 3B David Freese
7. 2B Daniel Descalso
8. SS Pete Kozma
9. SP Chris Carpenter

NLDS Game Four – Giants v. Reds

The lineups:

Giants
1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
4. 1B Buster Posey
5. RF Hunter Pence
6. C Hector Sanchez
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Barry Zito

Reds
1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. SS Zack Cozart
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. LF Ryan Ludwick
5. RF Jay Bruce
6. 3B Todd Frazier
7. C Dioner Navarro
8. CF Drew Stubbs
9. SP Mike Leake

That’s right. After back-to-back games of dreadful offense — over which the Giants compiled a grand total of five hits (two of which came only because the Giants were lucky enough to force yesterday’s game into extras), Bruce Bochy is sitting Brandon Belt in favor of Hector Sanchez. With the Giants’ season on the line, Bochy has opted to downgrade both the offense (Sanchez: .280/.295/.390, 86 wRC+; Belt: .275/.360/.421, 118 wRC+) and defense (Posey: #5; Sanchez: #111).

Not to mention that Lincecum, not Zito, should probably be starting this game. Obligatory reminder — Reds’ offense vs. right-handed pitching: 87 wRC+; Reds’ offense vs. left-handed pitching: 104 wRC+. Plus, their biggest left-handed threat — Joey Votto — hasn’t homered since June 24th.

Oh well. I fully expect Barry Zito to toss a shutout and Hector Sanchez to hit for the cycle because this is the postseason, after all — where chaos reigns supreme.

NLDS Game Three – Giants v. Reds

You might notice I didn’t bother writing about Sunday’s game. What do you expect? It was probably the most miserable game of 2012. Bronson Arroyo, one of the most hittable pitchers in baseball, nearly no-hit the Giants. Madison Bumgarner couldn’t make it through five innings. The Giants, already down 1-0 in the series, took a beating in their own park. Enough about that game. I’d rather just pretend that didn’t happen.

The Giants’ season is now hanging by a thread. In order to avoid elimination, they must a) beat a 97-win team b) three games in a row c) on the road with d) Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito starting two of those three games. Do they have it in ‘em? Probably not. But as baseball great Lenny Kravitz  — er, Yogi Berra — once said, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

The lineups:

Giants
1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
4. C Buster Posey
5. RF Hunter Pence
6. 1B Brandon Belt
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Ryan Vogelsong

Reds
1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. SS Zack Cozart
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. LF Ryan Ludwick
5. RF Jay Bruce
6. 3B Scott Rolen
7. C Ryan Hanigan
8. CF Drew Stubbs
9. SP Homer Bailey

NLDS Game Two – Reds v. Giants

Game two — sort of a “must-win.” The lineups are the same as yesterday:

Reds
1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. SS Zack Cozart
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. LF Ryan Ludwick
5. RF Jay Bruce
6. 3B Scott Rolen
7. C Ryan Hanigan
8. CF Drew Stubbs
9. SP Bronson Arroyo

Giants
1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
4. C Buster Posey
5. RF Hunter Pence
6. 1B Brandon Belt
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Madison Bumgarner

In other news, the Game Three starter has been named Ryan Vogelsong. Tim Lincecum will be used out of the bullpen, with Barry Zito or Matt Cain (on short rest) starting Game Four. I must say, I’m not too keen on the idea of Zito starting over Lincecum. I’ve brought this up a few times, but the Reds’ offense has fared a lot worse against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching, and the Giants should capitalize on this.

NLDS Game One – Reds v. Giants

Well, we’re finally here. The Giants’ first postseason game is set to get underway in less than three hours, with Johnny Cueto and Matt Cain — both of whom merit Cy Young consideration — battling it out. Fun fact: since the start of 2011, Johnny Cueto has a 65 ERA-, tied with Clayton Kershaw for the second-best mark in baseball over that span. And Matt Cain, well, he’s Matt Cain. The pitching match-up, to state the obvious, should be a good one. Shocking for that to be the case in the first game of a postseason series, I know.

Here are today’s lineups:

Reds
1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. SS Zack Cozart
3. 1B Joey Votto
4. LF Ryan Ludwick
5. RF Jay Bruce
6. 3B Scott Rolen
7. C Ryan Hanigan
8. CF Drew Stubbs
9. SP Johnny Cueto

Giants
1. CF Angel Pagan
2. 2B Marco Scutaro
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
4. C Buster Posey
5. RF Hunter Pence
6. 1B Brandon Belt
7. LF Gregor Blanco
8. SS Brandon Crawford
9. SP Matt Cain

It goes without saying, but these first two games — the only two that will be played in San Francisco during this series — are crucial.

Oh, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should check out Jeff Sullivan’s excellent Reds/Giants preview over at Fangraphs.