There are several story lines to follow in the National League Division Series featuring the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. However, there isn’t one easy overarching narrative to bring us all together in the way that television broadcasters like. There isn’t a clear underdog or a franchise that has pulled itself out of talent obscurity to unexpectedly find success.
Both these teams were among the favorites at the beginning of the season to win their respective divisions, and while other post season clubs were fooling around during the last week of the regular season schedule, the Giants and Reds were only worried about not coming under fire from the commissioner’s office for resting its regulars. They’re both good teams, and when one wins over the other, it can’t be seen as a surprise in any way.
Nonetheless, this won’t make the series any less dramatic or decrease the tension in any way. The excellence of baseball is found when tension is at its highest, and tension tends to get pretty high when two very good teams with similar expectations face off against each other. Just getting to the division series isn’t enough of an accomplishment for either of these clubs, and we’ll see that in every single pitch, every single swing and every single fielding play.
It’s playoff baseball at its finest, and for tonight, it was scheduled to take place in the finest of settings: AT&T Park in San Francisco. Here, Matt Cain would start for the Giants, and Johnny Cueto would counter for the Reds. Both pitchers, much like the teams that they play on, have had outstanding seasons, with little in terms of an advantage being given to either.
But right away, our expectations were rattled with Cueto coming out of the game early, and while none of the pitchers who came to relieve him in the following innings were at their sharpest, the Giants failed to capitalize in the same fashion that Brandon Phillips did for the Reds in their 5-2 victory to open up their NLDS against San Francisco. Seriously, watching this game, I kept imagining Phillips dragging every other player on his team across an imaginary finish line. He was amazing, both at the plate and in the field.
Unfortunately, as well as Posey played tonight, the Giants had no equal. Here’s how it all happened:
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