Posted June 27, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Francisco Giants
The Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto and San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner both have a chance to go unbeaten in the month of June.
While Cueto has experienced great success against the Giants, the same can't be said for Bumgarner versus the Reds.
With Cueto looking to win a career-best fifth straight start and Bumgarner seeking a fifth consecutive winning decision, the Reds and surging Giants open a four-game set Thursday night at AT&T Park.
Since compiling a 5.56 ERA while losing three of his final four starts in May, Cueto (9-3, 2.21 ERA) has been excellent in June. The right-hander has won all four of his outings this month, allowing five total runs and striking out 30 over 30 2-3 innings.
"We have incredible confidence in Johnny every time he touches the ball," said Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, batting .337 with five homers and 24 RBIs in his last 23 games against the Giants including a pair of homers in April, when Cincinnati took two of three at home.
Cueto was at his best Saturday, striking out a season-high nine over seven innings of three-hit ball in a 6-0 victory over Minnesota.
"I think you saw the deception and the mix that (Cueto) has," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the Reds' official website. "The fastball jumps pretty good, he backdoors the breaking ball pretty well and he's got a great changeup. He was tough. We never could get any big hits against him or put anything together."
The Giants (43-33) can surely relate. Cueto limited them to four hits over seven innings of a 3-0 win at San Francisco on June 9, 2011, then threw a three-hitter for his second career shutout in a 9-0 victory July 31.
Bumgarner (9-4, 3.10), in contrast, hasn't been nearly as sharp versus the NL Central-leading Reds (41-33). He's 0-2 in three starts against them with an 8.56 ERA - his highest against any team he's faced more than once.
Bumgarner improved to 4-0 this month despite not having his best stuff during Saturday's 9-8 victory at Oakland, giving up four runs and a career high-tying 11 hits over six innings. The left-hander could benefit Thursday from returning home, where he's 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA over 16 starts dating to June 2011.
He'll be trying to lead the Giants to a sixth win in seven games and a fourth consecutive shutout for the first time in franchise history. San Francisco, which defeated NL West rival Los Angeles 3-0 on Wednesday, moved into a first-place tie with the Dodgers after outscoring them 13-0 during a three-game sweep.
"To be able to sweep the Dodgers, throw three shutouts and be in the position we're in says a lot about us," Wednesday's starter Tim Lincecum said after posting his first win in nearly two months.
Cincinnati is coming off its sixth loss in nine games, falling 8-4 to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Ryan Ludwick belted a pair of solo home runs in the loss.
"We just have to go back to work," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who spent 10 seasons at the helm in San Francisco from 1993-2002, taking the Giants to a World Series appearance in his final year there.
The Reds received a scare Wednesday when Brandon Phillips was removed as a precaution after getting hit in the head by Aramis Ramirez's forearm while attempting to cover second base. Phillips was tested for a concussion after the game and wasn't sure if he'd be able to play Thursday.
"If I'm feeling like I'm feeling right now, then I'm not going to go out there and just try to play," said Phillips, batting .359 with four homers and 15 RBIs in his last 16 games. "I'm going to try my best."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Joey Votto is clearly running away with the NL’s first base All Star position. So much so, that I think it’s easy to lose perspective. Here’s a couple facts to help increase the resolution on this number:
Since last week’s tally, Votto has received over 1.3 million votes. The second-place vote getter has only 1.5 million votes for the entirety of the voting.
Votto has about...
The ability for the fan's to pick the starters for the Midsummer Classic can often turn into a popularity contest. Well, in an effort to compile a more educated and fair team, Keith Law of ESPN Insider put together a roster full of "real" All-Stars on Thursday afternoon. It encompassed who he believed were the 25 most-deserving players in Major League Baseball with...
CINCINNATI If one Cincinnati Reds fan wants to start an argument with another Cincinnati Reds fan, all one need do is say two words: "Drew Stubbs."
And the other fan will say, "Them's fightin' words."
Drew Stubbs is a buzzword in Reds Country and there is little middle ground one is either for him or against him. Yay or nay. Thumbs up or thumbs down...
Aroldis Chapman’s ninth save of the season might have been the most controversial – because of something he did after it was over.
Once the Cincinnati Reds closer struck out Martin Maldonado to clinch a 4-3 victory over Milwaukee Tuesday night, Chapman took two somersaults toward catcher Ryan Hanigan in an apparent celebration.
The Reds reacted with concern – that Chapman might...
Dr. Henry Heimlich presented Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier with a life-saving award on Tuesday before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Frazier used the Heimlich maneuver on a choking restaurant customer during a series in Pittsburgh in late May. Heimlich, who moved to Cincinnati in the 1960s, went on the field and gave Frazier a certificate and a plaque for saving...
The Bats are riding a season-high, eight-game winning streak.
Louisville 6 Pawtucket 3
Bats (30-49), Last place International League West, 18.0 GB
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-CF Joey Gathright...
6/26 Game Review
Louisville won 5-3. Box Score
Felix Perez went 4-5 with 2 doubles and a run.
Cody Puckett went 2-4 with a double, walk and a run.
Bill Rhinehart went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI.
Corky Miller went 1-2 with 2 walks, a double and a run.
Tim Gustafson went 1-1 with an RBI at the plate. He allowed 2 runs in 4 innings on the mound.
Carlos Fisher threw a shutout inning...
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Madison Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with a one-hitter and the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 Thursday night.
Bumgarner (10-4) completed his first career game with his first shutout as the Giants tossed four consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history. Bumgarner walked one and struck out eight...
GET OFF HIS FIELD!
An elderly "balldude" for the San Francisco Giants made a great catch on a line drive in foul territory during Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Your browser does not support iframes. In the third inning, balldude George Zarzano made the play while on one knee in front of the left-field bullpen as the liner came off the bat of Dodgers batter Elian Herrera...
Ryan Ludwick was one of the lone bright spots Wednesday.
The Reds went for the brooms to sweep away the Milwaukee
Brewers in a matinee at GABP Wednesday afternoon, but fell behind early and
could never mount a rally and will be forced to settle for two out of three. Cincinnati
remains eight games over .500 at 41-33. To the details….
As entertaining as it may have been to fans, Reds head coach Dusty Baker was less than pleased with pitcher Aroldis Chapman’s somersaults to celebrate a save after striking out the Brewers’ Martin Maldonado to secure a 4-3 win.
Baker said he knew Chapman was excited to get the save after blowing his last attempt by giving up a game-winning home run, but asked the pitcher to express...
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Bronson Arroyo took a no-hitter into the eighth inning on
Tuesday night before giving up a three-run lead, but Drew Stubbs
led off the bottom half with a homer, sending the Cincinnati Reds
to a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here is a post that shows Aroldis Chapman doing two celebratory somersaults toward home plate after recording the final out of the game. Predictably, Dusty Baker gave a "we don't play that way" quote, and speculation abounds: will Joey Votto get a pitch in his ribs in retaliation? Will the Reds fine Chapman? How many absurd columnists will write screeds about how Chapman...