The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds are set to play Game Four of their 2012 MLB playoff series.
The National League Championship Series matchup will get underway at the Great American Ball Park at 4:07 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon. It will air nationally on TBS. If you can’t get to a TV, you can watch a live stream online at mlb.com for $4.99. The package allows you to watch all the ALDS, NLDS and ALCS games online.
San Francisco narrowly avoided being swept on Tuesday, pulling out a 2-1 victory in extra innings. For the first time all series, the Giants pitchers were able to slow down the Reds bats. After scoring a run in the opening inning, Cincinnati was held to one hit over the final nine innings.
The Giants still struggled to score, registering just three hits on the day. Because of their offense’s recent ineptitude, San Francisco’s starter Barry Zito will likely need to have a big game to extend the NLDS. 2012 was one his best seasons with the team. He went 15-8 with a 4.15 earned run average in the regular season.
It’s Zito’s first playoff appearance since he was with Oakland in 2006. This year, he’s replacing Tim Lincecum in the rotation. The former Cy Young award winner had his worst year as a pro, pitching to a 5.18 ERA. He is in the Giants bullpen for the playoffs.
The Reds turn to Mike Leake to close out the series. Leake wasn’t originally in Cincinnati’s playoff rotation, but manager Dusty Baker was forced to start him after Johnny Cueto suffered an injury in Game One.
Leake struggled throughout the 2012 season, winning just eight games for a team that won 97. His 4.58 ERA was the worst among all five Reds starters.
The right-hander has, however, had a measure of success against the Giants. He's 3-0 with a 0.77 ERA in his last 3 starts against San Francisco.
Betting Line: Cincinnati -145, San Francisco +135
Prediction: Ryan Vogelsong stepped up big on Tuesday, holding the Reds to one run and keeping the Giants alive in the series. Still, the team wasn’t able to get its offense going. With a very average pitcher taking the mound for San Francisco, Cincinnati should score enough runs to win and move on to the NLCS.
Predicted Score: Cincinnati 7, San Francisco 2