SAN FRANCISCO - The Cincinnati Reds routed the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS. Read a pitch-by-pitch recap below.
GAME OVER: Hunter Pence grounds out. Reds win 9-0.
Bot 9th - Two straight ground outs by Pagan and Scutaro for the first two outs. Sandoval hits a fastball a very long way that goes off the brick in right field for the Giants' second hit of the game. A wild pitch by Arredondo on a 2-2 count gets Sandoval to third. Arredondo then walks Posey with the very next pitch in the dirt. Posey steals second uncontested on the first pitch of Pence's at-bat.
Mid 9th - Jose Arredondo takes the mound to finish this one up. The Giants played the song "Stayin' Alive" to try and spur something on, but nine runs is a tall order. Cairo comes into play 1B, and Frazier moves over to 3B to relieve Rolen.
Top 9th - The Reds go down in order, with a great catch in left by Xavier Nady on a Jay Bruce bloop to end the inning.
End 8th - Reds 9, Giants 0. Sergio Ramos comes in to pitch for San Francisco. Todd Frazier has relieved Joey Votto of his duties and will lead off the 9th. Votto ends at 3-4 with 2 runs scored.
Bot 8th - A 2-0 groundball by Brandon Belt to Phillips produces out No. 1. Aubrey Huff pinch hits for the pitcher. Two balls hit deep by Huff, one in foul territory, the other into Drew Stubbs' glove. 2 outs. Hoover walks Crawford, who then steals a base uncontested, and the Giants fans got loud for it. They need something cheer about. That cheering was cut short by a low and outside fastball to strike out Xavier Nady. 1 inning left in this one.
Mid 8th - If you're in Cincinnati, I can understand if you want to go to bed, this one will be over shortly. Arroyo's brilliant day is done and J.J. Hoover takes over on the hill. They listed the official attendance tonight as again more than 43,000, but the official listing for capacity at AT&T Park is only 41,503. That means more than 1,500 folks were standing for a majority of this one. Props to them.
Top 8th - Wilson Valdez pinch hits for Cozart and flies out to right. The five-run inning is over.
SCORE ALERT: The hits just keep on coming. Phillips doubles to deep left and scores Stubbs. 9-0 Reds.
Top 8th (cont.) - Mota strikes out Arroyo on three pitches for the second out. Arroyo was just up there seemingly to get the at-bat over with and get back on the mound.
SCORE ALERT: Drew Stubbs nails a liner over the center fielder's head for a triple that scores Hanigan. Reds 8, Giants 0.
SCORE ALERT: Ryan Hanigan smokes a line-drive single up the middle to score Bruce from 2nd. Reds 7, Giants 0.
Top 8th (cont.) - A lot of Giants fans just headed for the exits. Can't blame them, especially with how Arroyo is pitching. There's no one in the Reds bullpen stirring and if Bronson keeps his performance up, the pen might get a night off. Rolen pops out to right field for the first out and Casilla will be relieved. New Giants pitcher is Guillermo Mota.
SCORE ALERT: Jay Bruce pushes a double down the line in right, and the pinch run option of Heisey pays off as both runners come around to score. 6-0 Reds. This one is getting more and more out of reach for the Giants. Mijares will be relieved by Santiago Casilla.
Top 8th - Votto pokes a single through the right side of the infield to lead off. He's 3-4. Mijares then walks Ludwick on a 3-2 count. Two men on with nobody out. Chris Heisey is the pinch-runner for Ludwick, who finishes 2-3 with a home run, RBI, walk and two runs scored.
End 7th - Reds 4, Giants 0. New pitcher for the Giants. Left-hander Jose Mijares (2.56 ERA during the regular season). Lincecum did his job, but the Giants' bats did not. The Reds are two innings away from going up 2-0 in the series.
Bot 7th - Scutaro hits a long 1-1 fastball to right-center, but Stubbs is there in a few steps. 1 out. Sandoval was first-pitch swinging, and pops out to left field. Arroyo walks Posey after being worked to a 3-2 count, Arroyo's first base on balls of the game, but he still looks good. Even Arroyo's waste pitches are making good hitters like Posey think twice about it. Hunter Pence was patient and worked to 2-2, leaving Arroyo's breaking stuff alone, but when he did finally get a hold of one, it was a harmless fly ball to Drew Stubbs. 7th inning over.
Mid 7th - They had a violinist play "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", the second night in a row they've had an instrumental 7th inning. He was pretty darn good though. Side note: There is a portion of the Giants' kids playground that spits out bubbles here at AT&T Park and those bubbles can be seen sporadically moving from right to left above eye level across the field. It's a minor distraction as a spectator, but a cool concept for the kids, I'm sure.
Top 7th - Stubbs lifts one to left, but SS Brandon Crawford is able to track it down for the first out. Lincecum strikes out Arroyo on an offspeed pitch for the second out, and again the Giants crowd is the loudest they've been
all series for it. Brandon Phillips keeps the inning alive by smoking a pitch down the third base line, just out of Pablo Sandoval's reach for a double, Phillips' first hit of the game. Cozart can't follow up, and grounds a 1-0 pitch to shortstop for the third out.
End 6th - Reds 4, Giants 0. Arroyo is not only pitching well, he's pitching efficient. At just 74 pitches through 6, he's giving the Reds exactly what they needed after the Game 1 bullpen effort.
Bot 6th - Brandon Crawford grounds out on a 0-1 low fastball for the first out. Arroyo gets another ground out from Xavier Nady on a similar 0-1 pitch. 2 down. Pagan pops out a 3-1 pitch to left for the last out. Arroyo continues to look good.
Mid 6th - That inning featured the old Tim Lincecum. The reason he is so good is because he is able to locate his breaking and offspeed stuff wherever he wants, and it is in the same exact motion as his mid-90s fastball, so it is even harder to pick up. When he's struggled is when that stuff is out of the zone. Side note: The Gangnam Style dance is back tonight, and that leads me to believe that it must be a normal thing here at AT&T Park.
Top 6th - Jay Bruce hit a Lincecum breaking ball all the way to the wall in left center, but Pagan was there with a foot or two to spare for the out. That was hit in the same spot as Ludwick's home run. Rolen plays defense on a 2-2 pitch and grounds out to second for out No. 2. Lincecum gets Hanigan to strike out swinging on an offspeed pitch to end the inning.
End 5th - Reds 4, Giants 0. Giants fans got real excited halfway through that inning because Tim Lincecum started stretching in their bullpen. And sure enough, the roof blew off this place when Lincecum did indeed take the mound to pitch. At first, a different Giants reliever was on his way to take the mound, but he was called back and Lincecum came out. This could either be a great move by Giants skipper Bruce Bochy to buy the Giants' offense time, or a nail-in-the-coffin move, depending on which Lincecum takes the mound. Other changes: Xavier Nady has replaced left fielder Gregor Blanco as a double switch to move Lincecum up to the 7 spot in the lineup.
Bot 5th - Posey puts a ball in a tough place in the gap on the left side, but Cozart makes a heck of a throw to get the out. 1 down. Pence hits a high one-hopper to Rolen, and the throw is in time for the second out. Brandon Belt is the first Giant of the night to record a hit. He worked Arroyo to his first 3-1 count of the night, and pushed a 2-seam fastball into right-center field. Good piece of hitting by Belt, as that pitch was low and away, but still got just a bit too much of the plate. But Arroyo gets Gregor Blanco on a short ground ball to Rolen, for the third out. Perfect game broken up, but that's of no concern to the Reds.
Mid 5th - Even though the Reds didn't score, it's a good sign that they're still picking up hits. Their goal this series was to break into the Giants' bullpen early, and they've done that two nights in a row.
Top 5th - Phillips leads off and grounds out to third. He's 0-3 after a commanding performance in Game 1. He's traded places with Ludwick, who in turn had a sluggish Game 1 but has come alive here. Cozart had a long at-bat, fouling off a few balls with 2 strikes, and won the battle by lining a single to left. Nice rebound from two strikeouts in his first two at bats. Votto takes Bumgarner to a 3-2 count on the next at bat, and also comes out the victor with a single to left. Bumgarner is done for the evening, as the Giants call on George Kontos for the second game in a row. Kontos threw two scoreless innings in Game 1. Ludwick grounds to the shortstop and the Giants turn a double play with ease. More damage averted by the Giants.
End 4th - Reds 4, Giants 0. It has to be said that Arroyo has retired the Giants in order thus far, not allowing a single hit or giving up a walk. His breaking stuff is biting hard, and he's in the hitters' heads as far as what speed he is going to throw. A very good sign for this ball club indeed. Bumgarner is back on the mound for the 5th. Side note: The Giants' organ player is actually located in the upper-level stands, out in the elements. I imagine he probably moves inside when it rains, but that's a neat idea to get him out among the crowd.
Bot 4th - Arroyo had Pagan guessing on speed, and he gets him to ground out to second for the first out. Scutaro grounds one right back to Arroyo, who has to stab it to the ground to knock it down, but he picks it back up and throws him out. 2 down. Sandoval grounds through Arroyo's legs, but it was slow enough for Cozart to get it and throw him out at first.
Mid 4th - The Reds string a rare bunch of hits together for some small ball run production, but it's nice to see against Bumgarner, who only gave up one hit the last time he faced the Reds.
Top 4th (cont.) - Bumgarner gets Stubbs to ground to second, and Scutaro gets Hanigan at second, but Stubbs' speed
breaks up the double play at first. 2 outs and the Giants bullpen is stirring. Bronson Arroyo put a decent bat on a ball to right field, and Hunter Pence almost slipped on the bullpen mound out there in foul territory, but comes back to his left to make the catch. Inning over, but damage done for the Redlegs.
SCORE ALERT: Ryan Hanigan takes a first pitch fastball on the ground up the middle just past second baseman Marco Scutaro for a single. Both runners come around to score and it's 4-0 Reds.
SCORE ALERT: Veteran Scott Rolen pokes a fastball into right center, and Joey Votto sprints around third base, slides into home head first to pick up the Reds second run of the game just ahead of the throw. Rolen gets to second and Ludwick stays at third.
Top 4th - Bumgarner throws a few good breaking balls that fool Votto, but Votto takes a 2-2 pitch right back up the middle for a leadoff single. Ludwick follows with a 1-0 single up the middle of his own. Men on first and second with no outs. Bumgarner throws a good breaking ball on a 1-2 pitch to Bruce and gets him to pop out to third for the first out.
End 3rd - Reds 1, Giants 0. Arroyo is locked in. He has the Giants guessing on both speed and movement. Good sign for the Redlegs for him to go deep in this one.
Bot 3rd - Arroyo is locating high again. Leadoff man Gergor Blanco (2-3 in Game 1) puts a good couple of swings on balls that went foul, and Arroyo fooled him on a 3-2 count with a 72 mph sidearm breaking ball for strike 3. Love it when he pulls the string like that. He also gets Crawford swinging with a mix of offspeed and fastball pitches. Had him guessing the whole time. Bumgarner falls victim to the same guessing game tactics. Three up, three down, and Arroyo strikes out his fourth batter in a row.
Mid 3rd - Also spotted at the ballpark, Reds supporter Charlie Sheen! He got a nice round of boos from the Giants faithful here.
Top 3rd - Arroyo leads off with a groundout to short. Brandon Phillips put a good swing on a pitch he saw, but Hunter Pence moved in to make the grab for the second out. Bumgarner strikes out Cozart on a very well located fastball low and away. 1-2-3. Just what the Giants needed to bounce back from the home run.
End 2nd - Reds 1, Giants 0. Arroyo started that inning still locating high, but he came down as the inning progressed, and looks like he's settling in. Spotted in the stands in between innings - Joe Montana. They showed him on the big board. That got a rise out of the fans here.
Bot 2nd - Posey innocently grounds out to Cozart, Hunter Pence put a good swing on a pitch he sees, but Phillips caught the liner for out number 2. Arroyo strikes out Belt on a nasty 69 mph curveball to end the inning.
Mid 2nd -Bumgarner definitely got shook up by the home run, and it should be mentioned the wind here is swirling, but unpredictable as far as direction goes. In the bottom of the 1st it was coming in, but when Ludwick hit that home run, it helped it stay up in the air. Either way, good move by the Giants pitching coach David Righetti to come out and chat with Bumgarner to calm him down.
Top 2nd - Bruce grounds out into the shift for out number 1. Bumgarner walks Rolen on four pitches that weren't even close. Man on 1st with 1 down. Bumgarner threw over to 1st a couple of times, as if Rolen is anything of a base-stealing threat. The Giants pitching coach then jogged out to have a chat after two-straight balls. It worked. Bumgarner gets Hanigan on three straight strikes for the second out, the third of which Hanigan was chasing big time. Stubbs lines out an 0-1 pitch to the first baseman. Three outs, one stranded.
SCORE ALERT: Ryan Ludwick, who looked great in batting practice, absolutely crushes a home run on a first pitch fastball to deep center. 1-0 Reds.
End 1st - Reds 0, Giants 0. Arroyo was high on his location in the 1st, and as aforementioned, this is a big ballpark so it's OK, but if he keeps this up, he'll end up paying for it. He's also throwing mostly fastballs, which isn't a bad thing as it sets up his breaking stuff later, but because Arroyo isn't overpowering, he needs to work in those breaking balls. Side note: Giants fans continue to get extremely excited just by the notion of contact. In their defense, two of the hits looked good off the bat, but weren't going to amount to anything. They all must be too used to Barry Bonds hitting a home run every time the ball was lifted in the air. This was also noted in Game 1.
Bot 1st - Speaking of this being a forgiving ballpark, Angel Pagan hit a monster shot to right, but Jay Bruce didn't run out of room at the warning track and recorded the out. That's a home run at GABP. Marco Scutaro then got a hold of one to center, but it stayed up long enough for Stubbs to get out No. 2. Arroyo gets Sandoval to pop out for the final out on a routine fly ball.
Mid 1st - Arroyo takes the mound for the Reds. He has been to the postseason before, including during a World Series run
with the Boston Red Sox not too long ago. He has to stay in this game long enough to give the bullpen a break after how much they had to work to compensate for the Cueto injury, and considering how forgiving this ballpark can be with long balls, my hunch is that may happen.
Top 1st - Brandon Phillips pops out to Buster Posey to start the game, much to the shagrin of Giants fans, who have made him public enemy #1 after his performance in Game 1. Bumgarner strikes out Cozart for the second out with good location of his fastball. Bumgarner changed Votto's eye level with some great down-and-in fastballs to compliment high heat, and Joey choked up on the bat to compensate, but it wasn't enough and Bumgarner got him swinging on an 89 mph fastball. End of the 1st.
9:36 p.m. - The Rally Rags are waving yet again here at AT&T Park, and the Giants have taken the field. We'll update per half inning from here on out.
9:30 p.m. - Edgar Renteria, the former Giants World Series MVP, throws out the first pitch. Just like last night's choice of 49ers QB Alex Smith, the Giants know how to pick em to get the crowd going. And yes, Renteria threw a strike.
9:28 p.m. - Tony Lindsay, lead singer for Carlos Santana for more than 20 years sang the national anthem and he rocked the house. Another fly-over courtesy of a nearby Air Force base got your heart beating, and we're almost underway.
9:25 p.m. - The Giants use the music from tha new Dodge Dart commercial for the background to their starting lineups. It gets a little redundant after a few times.
9:20 p.m. - Lineups were just announced. For Reds: Phillips, Cozart, Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, Rolen, Hanigan, Stubbs, Arroyo. No changes from Game 1. For Giants: Pagan, Scutaro, Sandoval, Posey, Pence, Belt, Blanco, Crawford, Bumgarner. No changes there either.
9:18 p.m. - Enough can't be said about what a nice park this is and how man cool facets of it there are. They have a full playground for kids, a speed pitch area, at least double the suites GABP does, plus the landing area in right field where the balls can go into the Bay doesn't seat many, but if you do grab a spot there, it can be cool
9:15 p.m. - Interesting sign of where these games are played, the Giants announce an evacuation plan on the big screen and the loudspeaker before each game. If you remember in 1989, there was an earthquake during the pre-game of a World Series game here in San Fran, so I suppose it's only appropriate. It's almost game time here at AT&T Park.
9:12 p.m. - They just showed a promo for the World Baseball Classic on the big board, which will be here in San Francisco in 2013. Pretty appropriate setting with the amount of international flare in this city.
9:07 p.m. - They do this thing called the AT&T Experience here, where fans can text a message to show up on the big board. It's similar to the Reds and how they have tweets show up on the ribbon scoreboards, but it's much more intentional and makes for a cool gimmick if you wanted to wish someone a happy birthday or something similar. Wonder if there has ever been a marriage proposal...
8:55 p.m. - Fun fact about this year's playoffs: Four teams (Reds, Nationals, A's and Orioles) that had more than 90 wins this season played sub-.500 baseball in 2011. Shows what a year difference can make, especially when you make some off-season moves like the Reds did.
8:48 p.m. - I had noticed in Game 1 that the Giants didn't use their organ all that much like many traditional baseball teams do, and instead use actual music or pre-produced chants with sound from the big board. They've showed otherwise today. Since batting practice has been over, the organ has been blaring, covering several music favorites of the last 60 years. A favorite of mine was the "Ballroom Blitz".
8:40 p.m. - No real update on Johnny Cueto today. Dusty Baker said in his pre-game interview that him and Bailey flew home to Cincinnati today. Baker also wouldn't budge on naming a starter for Game 4. Surely he's waiting for the prognosis on Cueto.
8:35 p.m. - Todd Frazier has been crushing balls in BP, but here's something I've also not often seen: Frazier broke his bat. In batting practice. We hope to see him in the game tonight with that kind of swinging.
8:30 p.m. - Something I've never seen before: There are fans in the outfield "fishing" for batting practice balls. There are three different fans with something on the end of a string that they throw on to the field and subsequently try to catch the balls on the ground and reel them in. Two were successful. Some of the Reds players in right field were laughing about it, and one even jokingly threw another ball in the direction of one of the strings to disrupt their success.
8 p.m. - The Giants announced that right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (3.37 ERA) will get the start for Game 3 when the series heads back to Cincinnati. Dusty Baker also confirmed that Homer Bailey will be moved up to pitch Game 3 after the Cueto injury.
It's a decisive move for Giants skipper Bruce Bochy to leave Tim Lincecum on the bench for what could be a decisive game in this series, but you can't argue with Lincecum's off-year numbers (5.18 ERA).
7:45 p.m. - The gates have opened and fans are streaming into AT&T Park, the majority of which are hoping for a better night than Saturday night. The Giants already took batting practice and the Reds are taking hits right now. The Giants looked a little lazy during BP, as to where the Reds are taking some bigger cuts. I can't help but notice Joey Votto can't even crack a home run during batting practice. He's got to still have some issues with driving those legs toward the mound after the surgeries in July.
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