Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reds-Giants: 10 notes about Game One of the NLDS

The NL Central Champion Reds (97-65) and NL West Champion Giants (94-68) will kickoff Game One of the NLDS on Saturday beginning at 9:37pm ET. Cincinnati will pit ace Johnny Cueto (19-9, 2.78) up against San Francisco ace Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79) in what is sure to be a pitcher's duel, on paper at least. The game will be aired by TBS.

Here are 10 notes for you to mull over regarding the opening game at AT&T Park:

1) Cain touts a tidy 2.03 ERA and 0.904 WHIP in 15 starts at home this season. He is 4-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 10 lifetime starts against Cincinnati. He has yet to allow an earned run in postseason play during his career (3g, 21.1 IP).

2) Cueto has fared quite well against the Giants in the past as evidenced by his 2-1 record and 1.93 ERA in four career starts (28 IP). His only postseason start prior to this one came in 2010 when he took the loss against the Phillies in the NLDS (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER).

3) Only one team in the National League had a better road record than the Reds' 47-34 mark this season (Washington - 48-33).

4) San Francisco's run differential of +69 is the lowest among all five NL playoff teams.

5) Cincy won four out of seven meetings during the regular season over San Francisco. The teams split their only their series at AT&T Park - two games a piece - back in late-June.

6) SF's Buster Posey led the majors in hitting during the regular season with a .336 average. His career average at AT&T Park, however, is forty points lower than his career average on the road (.292/.332).

7) The Reds hold a clear advantage in their relieving core. The Reds lead the league in bullpen ERA (2.65) while San Francisco ranks eighth (3.56).

8) Cincy also holds the upperhand on defense. They've committed the second-fewest errors (89) in the NL in 2012 while the Giants have committed the fourth-most (115).

9) Of the 10 playoffs teams, the Reds are the only one who to score at least 700 runs during the campaign. They accumulated 669, by the way.

10) Game Two will take place Sunday night beginning at the same time (9:37 PM ET). The Reds will march out veteran Bronson Arroyo (12-10, 3.74) to oppose Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37).

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