Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants Series Preview


Break out the champagne because the Cincinnati Reds just took a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were one game away from sweeping the Cardinals in that four-game series, before a bullpen implosion stopped that from happening. And while it’s always exciting to beat the Cardinals, all the Reds can do from here on out is play spoiler to teams that have dreams of October, and one of those teams is the San Francisco Giants. The 2014 World Series champs are not having a stellar year, but still have hopes of gaining enough games to either overtake the NL West from the Los Angeles Dodgers, or challenge the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card spot. With memories of the 2012 NLDS still in their heads, Reds fans would no doubt love to end any postseason hopes the Giants have for 2015. The Reds have the opportunity to do so tonight as they play game one of a three-game series against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Game 1
9/14/15 10:15 p.m. EST
CIN: Keyvius Sampson (2-4, 6.94)
SF: Tim Hudson (7-8, 4.51)

Sampson will be getting the start for the Reds and is facing the Giants for the first time tonight. He has still yet to find his rhythm this year and has not pitched well in his last few outings. In fact, he has only had one quality start this year, which came on Aug. 8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. His ERA has been on a drastic rise since early August, and he has only pitched into the sixth inning once. Sampson is long overdue for another good outing, and here’s to hoping it comes tonight.

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Hudson, who recently announced he will be retiring this year, will be heading to the mound for the Giants and will be facing Cincinnati for the first time this year. Hudson has pitched well against the Reds in the past, holding the team to an incredibly poor .190 batting average and allowing the Reds to hit one home run off him in 100 at-bats. The lone home run came from Jay Bruce, who has gone 3-for-10 against Hudson in the past. Todd Frazier has also had success when facing Hudson, and has four hits in 10 at-bats against the retiring Giant.

Game 2
9/15 10:15 p.m. EST
CIN: John Lamb (1-3, 5.18)
SF: Chris Heston (11-10, 3.55)

Lamb finally got his first big league win last week (against the Cardinals no less) in a great outing where he pitched five innings allowed only three hits and no runs. Hopefully, Lamb will be able to finally build some momentum off his first win when he faces off against the Giants for the first time of his career.

Heston, who will be starting for the Giants, is making a name for himself this year and could be in Rookie of the Year contention largely due to the no-hitter he threw on June 9 against the New York Mets. Heston is pitching against the Reds for the second time, and pitched horridly when he first faced the Reds back in May. In that game, Heston pitched two innings, gave up seven hits, two walks, five earned runs and faced only 16 batters. He also allowed the Reds to hit .600/.692/.600 of him, with Bruce, Frazier and Brandon Phillips each getting a hit in every at-bat against Heston. Heston may have thrown a no-hitter against the Mets, but he couldn’t even seem to get an out against the Reds.

Game 3
9/16 10:15 p.m. EST
CIN: Michael Lorenzen (4-8, 5.45)
SF: Jake Peavy (6-6, 4.15)

Game three will wrap the series with Lorenzen facing off against the always animated Peavy. Lorenzen had a good outing in his last start against the Cardinals, a 4-2 Cincinnati win, going five innings and allowing two runs. Lorenzen will make his first start against the Giants, though he did face them as a relief pitcher back in May. Lorenzen did not do well in that game, pitching two innings of relief and allowing three runs off three hits and two walks.

Peavy will be starting against Cincinnati for the first time this year but is certainly no stranger to the Reds. Peavy has historically pitched well against the Reds, holding them to a .222 team batting average. Skip Schumaker has probably been the best at the plate against Peavy, going 3-for-10 and taking him deep once. Brayan Pena has also homered against Peavy, and is the only other Red to do so.

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