San Francisco Giants 2 – Cincinnati Reds 1
In the most tense game of the season, the San Francisco Giants needed extra innings to complete their come-from-behind victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The team has to endure a brilliant one-hit pitching performance from Homer Bailey who confounded the Giants lineup with a barrage of fastballs and sliders, but San Francisco pitchers held strong even if they did so in a less dominant fashion than their counter parts from Cincinnati. The wheels fell off for the Reds in the tenth inning, when Jonathan Broxton gave up back-to-back singles to Buster Posey and Hunter Pence, leading to a two-out ground ball that was bobbled by Scott Rolen. Sergio Romo, after a shut out inning in the ninth, pitched another perfect frame in the bottom half of the tenth to secure the victory.
Bailey’s command of the strike zone was incredible, as he hit the targets set for him by Ryan Hanigan on almost every occasion. Even though he essentially reduced his repertoire to only two pitches, Bailey mixed them well and located them at different levels from pitch to pitch. However, the Giants waited the Reds starter out, who it could be argued, was pulled from the game early by Dusty Baker ahead of the eighth inning, after only 88 pitches and without signs of tiring.
San Francisco eventually found a chink in the Cincinnati bullpen armor with Broxton, who still almost escaped punishment for the hits he gave up at the beginning of the tenth inning.
One has to wonder if the Reds will continue to play the once excellent Rolen, who has declined and deteriorated as a player over the last few years, while rookie of the year candidate Todd Frazier waits for his chance from the bench.
The series continues this afternoon at 4:37 PM ET, with Barry Zito scheduled to pitch for San Francisco, and Mike Leake likely starting for Cincinnati. The Reds are up two games to one over the Giants.
Must-Click Link: Hunter Pence and Scott Rolen offer a perfect window into what makes playoff baseball so engrossing. [Sports On Earth]
Here’s how San Francisco Giants fans reacted to Tuesday’s game. [McCovey Chronicles]
Here’s how Cincinnati Reds fans reacted to Tuesday’s game. [Red Reporter]
Detroit Tigers 0 – Oakland Athletics 2
Count me among the doubters when the Oakland Athletics announced that their Game Three starter would be Brett Anderson, who hadn’t pitched since September 19th. With his team’s season on the line, Anderson pitched one of the greatest games of his career, going six innings, allowing zero runs on two hits and two walks while striking out six Detroit Tigers. He was picked up by the Oakland bullpen triumvirate of Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour, all of whom recorded a scoreless inning in relief. The most impressive of the three was former first baseman Doolittle, who recorded a Kimbrel, striking out all three batters he faced.
On more than one occasion Tuesday night, A’s pitchers were helped out by stellar defense from center fielder Coco Crisp …
… and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes …
… who also knocked in what ended up being the winning run with a single in the first inning that scored Coco Crisp. Seth Smith, the left-handed hitting part of Oakland’s designated hitter platoon hit a solo home run in the fifth off of Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez for some insurance.
Overall, Sanchez also pitched well, but the Tigers offense let him down as it fell under Anderson’s spell. When the top four hitters in your lineup go a combined one for fifteen, with only one walk, you’re unlikely to emerge as the victor. Perhaps the most atrocious performance of the night belongs to Omar Infante who went 0 for 4 while striking out three times.
The series continues this evening at 10:07 PM ET, with Max Scherzer scheduled to pitch for Detroit, and A.J. Griffin on the mound for Oakland. The Tigers are up two games to one over the Athletics.
Here’s how Oakland A’s fans reacted to Tuesday night’s game. [Beaneball]
Here’s how Detroit Tigers fans reacted to Tuesday night’s game. [Bless You Boys]
In addition to these two series carrying on, the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals resume their battle at 1:37 PM ET this afternoon with Chris “Big Carp” Carpenter taking the mound for the Cardinals against Edwin Jackson for the Nationals. This series is tied a game apiece. Big Carp!
The Baltimore Orioles travel to New York to pick things up in Game Three of their American League Division Series. The Orioles will Miguel “The Kitchen Sink” Gonzaelz at the Yankees lineup, who, for as much as I joke, has been one of the team’s best starters down the stretch. New York counters with BIG HIROKTOBER himself, Hiroki Kruoda, who achieved the rare feat of having a quietly excellent season with the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 PM ET.