The Cincinnati Reds didn’t show up for the game Wednesday evening; consequently, the Reds are now up against the wall with their first must win game of the NLDS series against the San Francisco Giants. Dusty Baker put his junior-varsity on the field and hoped for the best. He didn’t get it. The Reds ended up getting pounded 8-3. It was the first real offensive output the Giants have shown during the season. The Reds had held the Giants to a grand total of 4 runs in the previous three games. In fact, in two of those games the Reds took no-hitters into the 5th inning.
Now we have a do or die game to see who moves on to the NLCS on Saturday. To make matters worse, the Reds will have to face that elimination game without their ace, Johnny Cueto. Cueto was replaced on the roster with Mike Leake, who just flat stunk it up Wednesday.
The only option the Cincinnati Reds have now is to come out with Mat Latos and hope that his late season dominance will continue. He will, more than likely, face Matt Cain (the loser in game #1). It should be another low scoring affair.
I had said at the beginning of the series that the Cincinnati Reds will win because of pitching and defense and lose because of hitting. I still believe that will be the case. If Latos comes through with a shut down outing Thursday and the defense holds up (unlike Game #3), the Reds will win. In other words, the Reds will not outhit the Giants.
As a prediction, I believe that the Cincinnati Reds will bring their A game with their varsity squad on the field and will win the finale 3-1 and move on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.
We will have to wait and see if the Cincinnati Reds has what it takes to win a playoff game at home. I believe they do.