Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reds-Giants: Five storylines for Game Two

The Reds and Giants will lock horns for Game Two of the NLDS beginning tonight at 9:37 EST.

Here are five quick storylines about the pivotal game:

1) Which Bronson Arroyo will we see on Sunday? Although the 35-year old has experienced a bounceback season this year (12-10, 3.74 ERA, 3.69 K/BB), he's still vulnerable to a terrible outing from time to time. There has been 11 instances in his 32 starts (34%) in 2012 with which he has allowed four or more runs. However, the right-hander has also made 15 starts (47%) with which he limited the opposing team to two runs or less. So, it appears to be hit or miss with the veteran hurler. He's 3-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 career appearances (72.0 IP) against San Francisco, which includes an unsightly 0-4 mark and 4.11 ERA in six starts at AT&T Park.

2) Which Madison Bumgarner will we see on Sunday? The 23-year old has struggled a bit over the past six weeks. Bumgarner has allowed four or more runs in six of his last seven starts and hasn't pitched past the seventh inning since August 20th. In four lifetime starts (22.2 IP) against the Reds, the southpaw is 1-2 with a 5.16 ERA.

3) Cincinnati's record in games played on Sunday this season is 18-8. That's by far their winningest day of the week (0.692). Their 18 victories on the Sabbath are also the most of any other squad in MLB.

4) The Reds are a whopping 48-7 in games with which Drew Stubbs scores at least one run. That's a winning percentage of over 87%. If Stubbs scores, the Reds win. Period.

5) Since the Division Series began in 1995, teams with a 2-0 series lead have gone on to advance to the Championship Series 90% (38/42) of the time. To put it frankly, the Reds can all but wrap up the series by winning Game Two, especially considering they are set to host the final three games of the series (if necessary).

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