The road team has won all four games of the NLDS, and on Thursday afternoon, either the Cincinnati Reds or the San Francisco Giants are going to be punching their ticket to the NLCS.
The Giants have to be considered tremendously lucky to still be in this series, and the argument could be made that they should be the favorites to survive into the NLCS. The man on the mound is going to be Matt Cain in this one, and he is going to hope to continue the great pitching fortunate that San Francisco has had over the course of the last two games in this series. Cain was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of this series, and he really didn’t do all that well. He was yanked after just 75 pitches and five frames in which he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with four punch outs. This was as bad of a start as Cain has had in quite some time though, so Manager Bruce Bochy has to have all of the confidence in the world that his righty is going to be able to finish this series off.
The Reds have clearly had themselves an up and down series. The offense had a great first two games in San Fran, scoring 14 runs in two outings. However, since coming back home, where the team has played significantly better this year, it has scored just four runs in two games. One would have thought that it would be Johnny Cueto on the mound, but obviously, his back is still bothering him. Cueto pitched just 0.1 inning in Game 1 before getting pulled and giving way to Mat Latos, the man that is going to ultimately be on the mound to try to get this series back for Cincinnati. Latos pitched four innings and allowed just one run on a solo homer. He knows that he is going to be under the gun all of a sudden, as he and the rest of his Reds have been all over the place right from the get go with the injury to Cueto. The bullpen has been terrible over the course of the last few games, and that has been a real shock for a unit that was clearly the best in the National League all year long. This just has to change due to the fact that Latos has generally not lasted all that long for the most part in his starts.
We’ve backed the Reds time and time again here at home, and we are going to take one final shot on them in this one. We just think that Cincinnati has the better team, and it has the home field advantage. Though Cain is the better pitcher, especially with as much rest as he has had and as few pitches as he threw the last time out, but we still think that the Reds are going to rule the day. Cincinnati 5 – San Francisco 1