How the Reds Have Fared vs. the Giants in 2012

The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds will begin their best-of-five series this Saturday at AT&T Park. Before the two teams take the field let’s look back at how Reds have fared against the Giants this season and how some of the key players have been performing since the last time the teams squared off.

Cincinnati Reds Lineup vs. the Giants

The Reds won the season series 4-3 over the Giants, and the two teams haven’t played head-to-head since splitting a 4-game series at the end of June and the first day of July.  The last series between the clubs cost the Reds their star slugger Joey Votto who injured his left knee sliding into third base on June 30th. Votto posted good peripheral stats in 22 September games hitting .343/.527/.448 during the month. Though Votto has returned from surgery his power stroke has not returned to the Reds lineup and he has yet to homer in a game since returning from the DL on September 5th.

Without Votto in the lineup the Reds surged to 31-15 record and proved that their lineup was deeper than one guy. With that said, the Reds offense has really struggled over the last month hitting just .230/.303/.332 in the month of September.

Several of the Reds players have fared well against the Giants this season including: Jay Bruce, who went 11-for-26 (.423) with a homer and seven RBIs; Todd Frazier was 5-for-12 (.417) with a homer; and Ryan Ludwick was 7-for-20 (.350) with a homer.

Cincinnati Reds pitchers vs. the Giants

Cincinnati will have Johnny Cueto start Game 1 vs. Matt Cain. Cueto faced the Giants back on June 28th and was a 5-0 loser to San Francisco while giving up three runs (2 ER) on six hits, walking four and striking out three over six innings. In that game Cueto was beaten by Madison Bumgarner, who tossed a one-hit shutout.

The Reds pitching has been terrific down the stretch posting a 2.91 ERA in 241 innings during the month of September. One of the core strengths of this Cincinnati Reds team is the bullpen. The Reds pen features a lot of power arms that rack up strikeouts and limit home runs. Led by closer Aroldis Chapman (45.9%) the Reds pen K’s 26.6% of hitters faced and despite playing half their games in the bandbox known as the Great American Ballpark, the pen has posted the lowest homerun rate per 9-innings in the majors.

A home field advantage benefit that may help the Giants vs. the Reds bullpen could be the stat Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP). The Giants bullpen had a .302 BABIP the 5th worst in the National League. This can be attributed largely to playing their games within the odd dimensions of AT&T Park.

Overall this season the Reds pen has posted a respectable .284 average on balls in play, good enough for 5th best in the NL. However, a few key members of the Reds pen Alfredo Simon (.337) and Sean Marshall (.325) have posted high averages on balls in play, and those numbers could inflate at AT&T Park. This is by no means a guarantee of success for the Giants against a tough Cincinnati pen, it’s simply an aspect that could favor the Giants while playing at home.

Although the matchups weren’t known until Wednesday both the Giants and Reds punched their postseason tickets almost 2 weeks ago. With plenty of time to get their houses in order before a playoff run this should be a great series. The Reds had the best road ERA in the Majors this year, while the Giants had the NL’s 3rd best home ERA so this will feature strength against strength… Let’s get it on.

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About Vegas Joe

When I was 5, I decided I was going to cover sports for a living… score. I’ve been working at KNBR since 2005 and have been the producer of Sportsphone 680 since 2010. On the show I’ve worked with former Major League players FP Santangelo and Eric Byrnes. While at KNBR I’ve been blessed to cover many great games and teams including the Warriors ” We Believe” run, The Giants 2010 World Series team, and the 49ers run to the NFC Championship game. I was born in Oakland, where I live today. I have been a Bay Area resident my entire life spending time living in Albany, Lafayette, San Francisco and now Oakland. I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2008 with a degree in Radio and Television.

Posted on October 5, 2012, in San Francisco Giants and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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