Skip to content

Reds still hold the advantage in winner-take-all Game 5

Oct 10, 2012, 8:15 PM EST

Mat Latos Getty Images

Momentum, if such a thing exists in baseball, favors the Giants. Thursday’s matchup, Matt Cain vs. Mat Latos, would likewise seem to favor the Giants. And yet the Reds are still the better bet to win Thursday’s series-ending Game 5.

– The Reds have home-field advantage. It didn’t count for much the last two days, but the Reds were tied for the NL’s best record at home (50-31) this season.

– Recent history suggests the Reds have Cain’s number. Including Saturday’s Game 1, in which the Giants ace allowed three runs in five innings, Cain is 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA and six homers surrendered in 18 innings against the Reds this year. Two of those three starts were in San Francisco, too. Overall, Cain was far better at home this year (2.03 ERA, seven homers allowed in 111 IP) than on the road (3.56 ERA, 14 homers allowed in 109 IP).

– Latos is pitching even better than Cain at the moment. He had a 2.41 ERA over the final two months of the regular season. Plus, he’s dominated the Giants. He was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two starts during the season. Pitching in relief of the injured Johnny Cueto, he allowed one run over four innings in relief in the Game 1 victory.

– Even though the Reds’ No. 1 starter (Cuet0) faced two batters in Game 1 and their hottest starter going into the series (Latos) hasn’t started at all, the Reds have outscored the Giants 18-12 in the NLDS. They’ve been the better team.

– Since Wednesday’s game wasn’t close, the key relievers on both teams will be rested for Game 5. That favors the Reds, given that Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall are a bit stronger than the Giants’ late-game committee.

– The Reds also have Bronson Arroyo lurking if something truly unexpected happens. It’s doubtful Dusty Baker will be looking to go to him, but he was awesome in Game 2 and he’s actually been quite successful on three days’ rest in his career, going 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA in eight starts.

Of course, just about anything can happen in an all-hands-on-deck game, and things will get very interesting if Latos happens to struggle early. I like the Reds in this one, but given that I preferred the Giants a week ago, what do I know?

Latest Posts
  1. Joba Chamberlain’s son had a lot to do with him signing back with the Tigers

    Mar 3, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    The million a year helped, but Chamberlain’s son provided the definitive push back to Detroit.

  2. Sandy Alderson shoots down Dillon Gee trade rumors

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:48 AM EST

    Dillon Gee Getty Getty Images

    Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about a Dillon Gee trade rumor that made the internet rounds Monday night.

  3. Twins working on a contract extension with Brian Dozier

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:10 AM EST

    Brian Dozier AP

    Dozier is making the minimum salary for this season and would then be under team control via arbitration for 2016-2018.

  4. Baseball media is rooted in public relations just as much as it is rooted in news

    Mar 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    press hat

    A nice history lesson from Jack Moore at The Hardball Times.

  5. Russell Martin made a point to emulate Derek Jeter . . . and Joey Votto

    Mar 3, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Russell Martin Getty Images

    Reds fans may wonder why anyone would WANT to be like Votto, but everyone who doesn’t listen to Marty Brennaman knows that Votto is a pretty swell guy to emulate.

  6. Curt Schilling lowers the boom on some men tweeting threats against his daughter

    Mar 3, 2015, 7:08 AM EST

    Curt Schilling AP

    Twitter does a pretty bad job of policing threats of violence against women. Curt Schilling does a much, much better job.

  7. Nationals sign Tony Gwynn, Jr.

    Mar 2, 2015, 11:05 PM EST

    Tony Gwynn Jr. Getty Getty Images

    Gwynn will function as insurance with Jayson Werth and Nate McLouth each rehabbing from shoulder surgery.

  8. Diamondbacks to wear patch in spring training games in memory of Kayla Mueller

    Mar 2, 2015, 10:01 PM EST

    kayla patch

    Mueller died at the age of 26 last month while in captivity in Syria.

  9. Zack Wheeler isn’t a fan of defensive shifts

    Mar 2, 2015, 8:58 PM EST

    Zack Wheeler Getty Getty Images

    The Mets cut back on defensive shifts with Wheeler on the mound last season because of his concerns.

  10. Today was a good day for the Tigers

    Mar 2, 2015, 7:45 PM EST

    tigers logo Getty Images

    Some key players are making some encouraging strides on the health front.

  11. Alex Rodriguez to make Grapefruit League debut Wednesday

    Mar 2, 2015, 6:29 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    After facing a pitching machine during an intrasquad game today, Alex Rodriguez is ready for his first real-live game action since September of 2013.

  12. The Yankees have a lot of retired numbers. Other teams should try to be more like them.

    Mar 2, 2015, 4:26 PM EST

    Retired numbers

    Trammell and Whitaker in Detroit? Carter and Hernandez with the Mets?

  13. Cubs name Jon Lester as Opening Day starter

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

    jon lester getty Getty Images

    Lester joined the Cubs on a six-year, $155 million deal in December.

  14. Another weird spring training injury: Corey Hart and a hot tub

    Mar 2, 2015, 1:48 PM EST

    Corey Hart AP

    Hart is attempting to resurrect his career on a one-year deal as a part-timer in Pittsburgh.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Upton (2445)
  2. C. Gonzalez (2430)
  3. A. Simmons (2381)
  4. F. Rodriguez (2380)
  5. H. Bailey (2334)