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Reds make it 2 straight over Giants with 9-0 blowout

The Giants have two runners, and the Reds have eight runs.

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Giants finish Game 2 with 2 hits, Reds win 9-0

In their Game 2 loss, the Giants managed only two hits against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and a pair of relievers. Cincinnati opened the scoring with Ryan Ludwick's solo homer in the second inning, and later scored three in the fourth and five more in the eighth.

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Reds pull away against Giants bullpen, lead 8-0

Tim Lincecum pitched two innings of relief for the Giants in Game 2. They were scoreless innings, and the crowd responded with boisterous cheers. Everyone was jazzed, and the fire was back.

Then the Giants were retired on .5 pitches in both of the innings that followed Lincecum. Then Jose Mijares came in and allowed a single, a walk, and a double, putting the Giants down 6-0 in a game in which they've had two runners.

Other than that, everything's going pretty well for the Giants.

The double was hit by ... aw, hell, I don't even know anymore. I think it was Jay Bruce, but it doesn't really matter. No, I checked, it was Bruce. And with one out, Ryan Hanigan singled to bring Bruce home ... oh, and as I was typing that, Drew Stubbs hit a triple to score Hanigan. Cool, cool.

The Reds are up 8-0, and Bronson Arroyo is hitting for himself because he has a one-hitter going.

There exists, somewhere in this world, a guy who is both a Reds fan and a Bills fan. At least that guy is having a half-lousy day. Take that, theoretical sports fan.

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No-no bid ends, Giants still trail Reds 4-0 in 6th

Good news for the Giants! They won't be victims of the third no-hitter in postseason history!

Bad news for the Giants! They're down 4-0 in the fifth inning, their starting pitcher's been knocked out of the game already, and the Reds' pitcher is still throwing a one-hitter.

Bronson Arroyo didn't give up a hit in the first four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, he got Buster Posey and Hunter Pence on ground-outs; at that point, no Giant had hit the ball out of the infield since the first inning. Brandon Belt ended all of that, though, with a clean single to center field.

And then Arroyo got back to business, getting Gregor Blanco on a grounder to third base.

Today's big news in San Francisco was that Tim Lincecum won't be starting for the Giants in this series. He said all the right things, and is now pitching in the top of the sixth. Pitching well, too.

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Reds strike for three runs in 4th, lead 4-0

Madison Bumgarner was a legitimate MVP candidate this season -- some might even call him not making the game "a snub." But he's been pretty spotty in the second half of the year, with a 5.47 ERA in September. His arm slot has dropped, and he's looked tired.

After opening the game with a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout of Joey Votto, Bumgarner started to regress. He allowed a solo homer in the second, and in the fourth, he gave up three runs.

Joey Votto grounded a single up the middle, which was followed by a solid line-drive single by Ryan Ludwick into center. After Jay Bruce popped out, Scott Rolen fisted a bloop over the second baseman. Hunter Pence threw over the cutoff man, allowing the runners to move up. That was followed by a Ryan Hanigan groundball just under Marco Scutaro's glove, scoring two.

Bumgarner got a groundball from Drew Stubbs for a force out, and Bronson Arroyo popped out to end the inning.

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Bronson Arroyo perfect through 3 innings

Bronson Arroyo probably didn't escape from Cuba and sign with the Marlins, while his half-brother Orlando went on to success with the New York Yankees. Probably. But he pitches like Livan Hernandez. At least, the Livan from 10 years ago, not the mop-up man currently with the Braves. Command, control, slow dookie, and change-ups that make the slow fastballs seem fast. It's kind of impressive.

The Giants are impressed. Through the first three innings, Arroyo hasn't allowed a runner. The first two balls of the game were crushed, but right out outfielders. Since then, Arroyo has pitched much better, with the last three outs coming by way of the strikeout.

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Reds jump out to early 1-0 lead on Ludwick homer

This entire offseason, I was terrified the Giants would sign Ryan Ludwick. He seemed so Brian Sabean, or at least the stereotype that used to fit Brian Sabean. Ludwick couldn't field, and his hitting was an urban legend from 2008.

In the NLDS, he has two homers and a diving catch. This, after a fantastic season as a hitter. Okay, then.

Ludwick took Madison Bumgarner deep in the top of the second inning, swinging at a first-pitch fastball and driving it over the fence in left-center for a 1-0 Reds lead. Bumgarner walked Scott Rolen on four pitches later in the inning, but got Ryan Hanigan swinging and Drew Stubbs on a soft liner to first.

The Giants went down in order in the bottom of the first, but they did hit the ball hard off Bronson Arroyo, just right at fielders. That will make them feel better about how things are going, I'm sure.

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2012 NLDS: Giants keep same lineup as well

Well, this is boring. Just like the Cincinnati Reds, the San Francisco Giants are sticking with the same lineup they had in Game 1. With the Reds unlikely to start a lefty -- unless Johnny Cueto can't go again this series -- this is probably going to be the default lineup for the rest of the series:

1. Angel Pagan# - CF
2. Marco Scutaro - 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval# - 3B
4. Buster Posey - C
5. Hunter Pence - RF
6. Brandon Belt* - 1B
7. Gregor Blanco* - LF
8. Brandon Crawford* - SS
9. Madison Bumgarner - LHP

Of note: Bumgarner is the power threat at the bottom of that lineup.

This was the lineup against righties for most of September, though earlier in the season, Gregor Blanco led off. Blanco slumped, though, eventually getting his job back only when Melky Cabrera was suspended for performance-enhancing drugs in August.

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NLDS Game 2: Reds lineup is more of the same

The Reds won the first game of the National League Division Series with this lineup, so manager Dusty Baker figured he'd try it again:

1. Brandon Phillips - 2B
2. Zack Cozart - SS
3. Joey Votto* - 1B
4. Ryan Ludwick - LF
5. Jay Bruce* - RF
6. Scott Rolen - 3B
7. Ryan Hanigan - C
8. Drew Stubbs - CF
9. Bronson Arroyo - P

It's a heavy right-handed lineup in place to face the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, who shut them out in his only appearance against them on June 28.

The Giants still haven't announced a starter for Game 3, but it could be Barry Zito, which would likely mean we'd see the same lineup one more time. But even if Tim Lincecum goes for the Giants, the Reds don't have the most interchangeable lineup in the game -- Todd Frazier is a right-handed hitter, so the only changes they could make to get the platoon advantage would be to put Xavier Paul in left or Dioner Navarro behind the plate.

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