NL Division Series Game One: Reds 5, Giants 2

The Reds lost Johnny Cueto after eight pitches, the Giants nearly lost Brandon Belt, but neither mattered in Cincinnati's 5-2 win in game one of the NLDS. 

Cueto left the game in the first inning after suffering from back spasms, and was replaced in the short-term by Sam LeCure and in the long-term by probable game three starter Mat Latos. Latos did a good job holding the fort down after LeCure's great performance to relief Cueto, allowing one run on four hits over four innings, walking one and striking out one. The one run came on a Buster Posey solo homer leading off the sixth inning, Cueto's final inning of work. After he left the game, the new age Nasty Boys took over, with Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton throwing scoreless innings and Aroldis Chapman allowing one run in a ninth inning that he had plenty of wiggle room in.

As for the Reds offense, they made their five hits in five innings against Matt Cain count. They jumped on the board in the third, after a two-run homer by Brandon Phillips scored Drew Stubbs, and took a 3-0 lead in the fourth after Jay Bruce led off the fourth with a solo homer. That would end up being enough for an efficient Latos, even though the Giants pitching staff really clamped down on the Reds offense after the Bruce homer (and until the ninth inning).

Leadoff hitter Phillips was once again the key for the Reds offense, setting the table by going 3/5 and doing a lot himself, driving in three of the team's five runs. As for the Giants, it was a singles party. The team had just two extra base hits all night, Posey's solo homer and a Gregor Blanco double in the second that would end up loading the bases for Cain's spot in the order, but there's no way he would get pulled that early, and he lined out to end the inning. 

In game two today, Bronson Arroyo will take on Madison Bumgarner at 9:37 PM. This could be the last gasp for the Giants with Cueto starting game three on Tuesday against the erratic Tim Lincecum. Bumgarner has been either 1 or 1A on San Francisco's pitching depth chart this season, and the Giants absolutely need a great performance out of him to stay competitive in this series.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.