One game at a time. Should be the way to take tonight’s NLDS Game 2. Thing is, might be a little difficult to do so. You see, with last night’s Game 1, 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the NLDS, the Cincinnati Reds won their first postseason game since 1995. Seventeen years to the day (October 6) was the last Reds postseason victory as it came in a 10-1 romp over the Los Angeles Dodgers. That same win would provide Cincinnati with a 3-0 NLDS sweep of the Dodgers.
You could say that it is hard to believe it’s been that long, but considering that over the past two decades, the Reds and postseason haven’t exactly gone hand-in-hand. Far from it. This year marks only the franchise’s second playoff appearance since 1995.
Reds fans would love to forget what happened in the 2010 postseason…on so many levels. And it was also on October 6th that the Reds were no-no’d by Philly’s Roy Halladay. Ugh…
The Good Guys overcame the ghosts of 2010’s Game 1 and then some. They got hits. Nine hits to be exact. They scored five runs. Most importantly, they won. All positives. Containing the emotion of last night will be the difficult hurdle.
And so will be Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Looking at Baumgarner’s career numbers against the Reds, you might ask as to why the Reds would have troubles with the lefty hurler. He’s only 1-2 with an ERA of 5.16 and a WHIP of 1.279.
It is that one win. It came earlier this season as Bumgarner dumbfounded the Reds back on June 28th, limiting Cincy to a mere hit in a complete game win. Bumgarner loves pitching at AT&T Park. For this season alone, he was 10-3 owning a 2.38 ERA and 1.019 WHIP in 15 starts. (His road splits: 6-8, 4.40 ERA, 1.212 WHIP) For September, Bumgarner was 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA and 1.633 WHIP. He hasn’t appeared in a game since September 29 when he twirled four innings against the San Diego Padres. He did allow four hits and four runs in that outing.
Which Bumgarner will the Reds see this evening, the one from June 28th or the one from September and his previous outings against the Reds?
As for Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, you must ask yourself if there was any other Reds starter you’d rather see in this situation. You can rarely, if ever, tell what’s going on in his head. (Maybe we shouldn’t want that.) I can’t recall the last time where I saw Arroyo show the slightest of emotion.
Adding one October start, September was none too kind to Arroyo either. He was 1-3 with a respectable 3.32 ERA along with a 1.211 WHIP. In his two starts against San Francisco this season: 0-0, 2.45 ERA, but a high 1.727 WHIP in 11 innings (2 starts). For his career, Arroyo is 3-5 with an ERA of 3.13 and WHIP of 1.431 against the Giants.
Add that both at home and on the road, Arroyo is a game over .500 (4-3 at GABP, 8-7 on the road) and ERA under 4…for both (3.98 at home and 3.57 on the road). Biggest difference is in Arroyo’s slash against: .295/.333/.442 at GABP compared to .245/.275/.405 on the road.
Neither pitcher has performed well as of late, but Bumgarner does have that gem he twirled earlier this season. Arroyo allows less on the road and AT&T is a pitcher’s haven. Tonight’s game could simply boil down to which pitcher is the least hittable.