Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red alert! Reds get whacked by Giants to force Game Five

The Reds blew another chance at home to win the NLDS by falling, 8-3, to the pesky Giants Wednesday evening. The loss by Cincinnati forces a winner-take-all situation in Game Five, which will take place at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon. The winner of tomorrow's game will earn a spot in the NLCS.

Here's a look at the good, bad, and notables from Game Four:

The Good:
+ Technically, the Reds are still alive and well and in as good as a position as SF to win the series.
+ Joey Votto and Zack Cozart each tallied a pair of hits.
+ Ryan Ludwick crushed his second homer of the series, a solo shot in the third.
+ Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover, and Alfredo Simon combined to toss 4.1 innings of shutout ball in relief.

The Bad:
+ Johnny Cueto (oblique) is no longer available to pitch in the remainder of this series, nor the next one (assuming Cincinnati advances). The club was forced to replace him on the roster with Leake.
+ The offense mustered only three runs.
+ Leake was lit up in this one. The right-hander surrendered six hits and five runs while lasting only 4.1 innings. Overall, not a good showing from the Reds' No. 5 starter.
+ Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier combined to go hitless in six at-bats with three punchouts.
+ The Reds left 10 men on base thanks to going 0-7 with RISP.
+ There's a chance that the Redlegs will not be playing baseball anymore this season by tomorrow night. It all pends on whether or not they can emerge victorious in Game Five.

The Notables:
+ A full-capacity crowd of 44,357 labored through three hours and 35 minutes of baseball to watch their hometown team lose.
+ The folks in attendance enjoyed sunny skies and mid-50 temperatures throughout the affair.
+ Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch.
+ No team who led 2-0 in the NLDS has ever lost the series. That dates back to 1995 and includes 21 different teams. History is clearly on the side of Cincinnati.
+ The decisive Game Five will take place Thursday afternoon beginning at 1:07 PM ET (2:07 PM ET if Tigers clinch tonight). The Giants will march out ace Matt Cain, who took the loss in Game One, to oppose Mat Latos. TBS will have the coverage.

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