Wednesday, June 8, 2011

San Francisco Giants vs Cincinnati Reds Series Preview

Dusty Baker and the Reds head out to the West Coast for a seven game road trip starting Thursday night in San Francisco for four games before heading to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers.

The Reds are in third place in the NL Central and are five games back of the first place Cardinals.

The two best hitters on the Reds are Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. The good news for the Giants is that they are both left handed and left handed hitters don't usually fare very well in AT&T Park.

Besides Votto and Bruce, the only other dangerous batter in their lineup is 2B Brandon Phillips. 3B Scott Rolen is still a good hitter but he has been ill with a throat issue.

The Giants will see two former teammates in this series as SS Edgar Renteria and OF Fred Lewis will be getting their World Series rings on Thursday.

Neither Renteria or Lewis have contributed much to the Reds' offense so far this season. Lewis gets an occasional start in left field against right handers while Renteria is backing up the offensively inept Paul Janish.

The pitching match-ups are Johnny Cueto vs. Madison Bumgarner on Thursday, Travis Wood vs. Ryan Vogelsong on Friday, Mike Leake vs. Tim Lincecum on Saturday afternoon, and Edison Volquez vs. Jonathan Sanchez on Sunday night.

The Reds have the better offense while the Giants have the better bullpen. All four games will probably come down to the late innings and the bullpens.

The Giants make most starting pitchers look like Cy Young so don't expect their hitters to do well against any of the Reds' starting pitchers.

Sunday's game will be shown on ESPN and features two pitchers that love to walk batters.

The four game series is a very crucial series for both teams even though we are still in June.

The Reds don't want to fall too far behind first place while the Giants must show that they can still win games without Buster Posey behind the plate and batting cleanup.

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