Giants Take Game 3 of NLDS
With the Giants against the ropes down 0-2 in the NLDS, the Reds looked to close things out Tuesday at home with a three game sweep, but an extra-inning blunder by Cincinnati third-baseman Scott Rolen allowed Buster Posey to score breaking a 1-1 tie and keeping San Francisco alive in the 2012 postseason.
The Reds punched their only run across in the bottom of the first inning on a Jay Bruce RBI single and then were shut down by five Giant pitchers, including starter Ryan Vogelsong and relievers Jeremy Affeldt and winning pitcher Sergio Romo. Romo pitched the final two innings, holding on to the slim one-run lead in the bottom of the tenth.
Homer Bailey did all he could in his postseason debut for the home team, pitching seven innings while striking out 10 batters and only walking one. Bailey, who threw the 15th no-hitter in team history less than two weeks ago, only allowed one hit Tuesday, a sixth inning single off the bat of Marco Scutaro. The Giants first run and only off Bailey came in the third, an inning that started with a hit-batter, a walk and then a sacrifice fly from Angel Pagan.
“He’s had good stuff the whole month, really,” said Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan in an espn.com article. “He threw great, no doubt about it. He made pitches all night. He didn’t miss middle, and when he fell behind, he came back.”
The only other Giants run came in the tenth inning when Joaquin Arias bounced a short ground ball to Rolen, who mishandled it and threw late to first base. It was a rare error committed by the eight-time gold glove winner and forced the series into a fourth game that will take place today.
Barry Zito, a Cy Young Award winner in 2002 with Oakland, will get the game four start today for San Francisco as the Giants will try to extend the series to a decisive fifth game. After a few tumultuous seasons, Zito has enjoyed resurgence with the Giants this season, going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA.
The Reds have a tough decision to make for whom to start in game four. They surely want to send regular season ace Johnny Cueto to the mound today, but are not sure if he will be healthy enough. He left game one in the first inning with back spasms.
With some question marks entering today’s matchup and considering the fact that the Reds haven’t won a postseason home game since 1955, I like the Giants to even the series today with a win in game four. Barry Zito should pitch well and if the Giants can just find a little offense off whoever they end up facing, it should be enough to extend the series.