The San Francisco Giants (2-2) and Cincinnati Reds (2-2) will play the final game of their 2012 National League Division Series on Thursday afternoon inside the Great American Ball Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:07 ET
San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco has pushed this game to the brink after losing both games in the Bay Area, picking up an 8-3 victory over Cincinnati in Game 4 on Wednesday afternoon. The Giants are now focused on trying to become the first NL team to rally from a 2-0 deficit to win a Division Series. “Keep fighting,” commented Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Offensively, the team took advantage of swinging the bat in this ballpark, hitting three home runs yesterday. The club was last in the majors with 103 round trippers during the regular season. San Francisco is 9-1 in Cain’s last 10 starts as a road underdog.
Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (16-5, 2.79 ERA) suffered a 5-2 home loss to the Reds in Game 1, allowing three runs and five hits over five frames. The right-hander was 8-2 with a 3.56 ERA in 17 road starts, issuing 32 walks and striking out 92 batters in 108.2 combined frames. Cain has compiled an 0-3 record and 5.50 ERA against the team’s current opponent this year.
Cincinnati has a great chance to capture this series despite failing to close it out in the last two contests, considering the club hasn’t lost three consecutive home games all year. “I’d like to think that we still have the advantage,” stated Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. Reds manager Dusty Baker is 1-8 in games where his team can close out a series, which is why a rather quiet crowd will need to get behind this club in such a crucial contest. Cincinnati is 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos (14-4, 3.48 ERA) appeared in the first game due to Johnny Cueto suffering a back injury, throwing four innings of one-run ball in the team’s 5-2 win. The right-hander went 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 home outings during the regular season, surrendering 18 home runs in 124.2 combined frames. Latos owns a 2.19 ERA in 11 regular-season starts against the Giants, which should provide him confidence in such a pressure-filled environment.
Sports bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 20-6 record in Latos’ last 26 starts, while the Giants are 2-7 in Cain’s last nine outings versus a team with a winning record.