Found October 04, 2012 on Three-Way Chili:

The Cincinnati Reds will play the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 National League Divisional Series. Since nothing comes easy in the playoffs, I don't mind the matchup for the Reds. The Giants are a good team, but they have some things working against them -- such as the shocking decline of pitcher Tim Lincecum and outfielder Melky Cabrera being suspended due to testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

However, what I do mind -- and what I think is completely absurd -- is that the higher-seeded Reds are forced to start this best-of-five-game series on the road. That's right, MLB has decided this year that the lower-seeded team will host the first two games, and then the higher seed will host the final three.

What?

Exactly.

The second-seeded Reds (97-65) should be opening this series in Cincinnati. Instead, they'll have to travel to third-seeded San Francisco (94-68) in a series that will open Saturday at 9:37 p.m. Beautiful. The higher seed gets to fly across country and begin the playoffs on the West Coast. Only Bud Selig and his boys could think of something so brilliant.

There is no reason MLB needed to overthink this one. The format should be 2-2-1, period. And by that I mean, the higher seed hosts the first two games, the lower seed hosts the next two games, and then the higher seed hosts the deciding fifth game if necessary. It's not complicated in the least.

However, the Reds have to play the hand they were dealt and if they're able to at least split in San Fran, all will be well.

Johnny Cueto will take the hill for the Reds against Matt Cain and the Giants Saturday night. The Giants have the player who I believe will win the NL MVP in catcher Buster Posey. This will be a tough series; there is no question. But anyone the Reds would have faced in the first round (the Braves or the Cardinals) would have been a difficult series.

The Reds did not hit well during September, so that is a concern entering the postseason. (Also, Drew Stubbs is still on the team, so that's another concern.) Joey Votto is getting hits and walks at a high rate per usual, but hasn't shown any power since returning from a knee injury. Todd Frazier has been ice cold since August, but he won't be a starter anyway since Scott Rolen -- who's been ice cold offensively all year -- will start at third base. Even arguably the best bargain free-agent signing in MLB, outfielder Ryan Ludwick, has struggled recently at the plate. Dusty Baker's boys have to hope they'll put it all together in October. And yes, it's great to have Dusty back, who suffered a mild stroke in mid-September. 

The good news for the Reds is the pitching has been excellent all season -- both the starters and the bullpen. Simply put: This is the best pitching a Reds team has seen in ages. For many of us -- myself included -- this is without question the best pitching we've ever witness from a Reds club. They have a 3.34 team ERA, which is second in all of MLB behind the Washington Nationals.

So, sit back and enjoy the ride. And hopefully the Reds don't let MLB's foolish decision to make the higher seed start on the road negatively affect them. 

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

P&G commits $2 million to Reds Urban Youth Academy

From the Reds... P&G has committed $2,000,000 to the Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund’s “Urban Youth Academy.” The Reds Urban Youth Academy will be a baseball and softball training facility at Roselawn Park in Cincinnati that provides free, year-round instruction for boys and girls ages 6-18 from Greater Cincinnati and throughout Reds Country. “P...

SF Giants Rumors: Haft Chimes In On Playoffs, Start Times For Game 1, 2 And 3

Chris Haft of MLB.com tells me that he’s not sure of the San Francisco Giants chances during the 2012 Playoffs. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they reach the World Series and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Reds wiped them out in three or four games,” says Haft.I must say, I really do agree with Haft. I think it really comes down to the starting pitching. They seem to have...

Projecting Giants vs. Reds NLDS

After missing last year the welcome pangs of nervousness have come back with the Giants back in the playoffs. In the National League Division series the Giants face the NL Central Champion Reds. The Reds are a very good team and this series shouldn't be easy for either team. Here is the statistical breakdown for each team: Offense AVG OBP SLG wOBA...

Reds Live Postgame Show After Every Reds Playoff Game

FOX Sports Ohio will present a one-hour Reds Live postgame show, presented by Leinenkugel Oktoberfest, immediately following Cincinnati Reds playoff games. Reds Live is scheduled to air following NLDS games on Saturday, Oct. 6th, Sunday, Oct. 7th, and Tuesday, Oct. 9th, as well as Wednesday, Oct. 10th and Thursday, Oct. 11th should the series go all five games. Please visit www.reds...

Melky Cabrera Suspension: Baseball’s *Stand-Up Decision

Major League Baseball made a historic decision by disqualifying Melky Cabrera for a batting title. Here's why it's the absolute worst type of history, againThe post Melky Cabrera Suspension: Baseball’s *Stand-Up Decision appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.

Cain will start Game 1 for Giants

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy plans to start a pair of 16-game winners in the first two games of the National League division series, but says he's not certain what he'll do beyond that. Matt Cain will pitch Game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday and left-hander Madison Bumgarner will go in Game 2 on Sunday. The two tied for the team lead in victories and were...

The NLDS Roster

The Giants’ NLDS roster has been announced, and it’s devoid of any surprises. In fact, it’s identical to the playoff roster predictions I posted a week and a half ago. The Giants will go with 12 pitchers, which is a good thing: two of Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum, and Barry Zito — presumably the former two, but we still don’t know for sure — will be starting games in...

Giants uncertain about postseason rotation

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy plans to start a pair of 16-game winners in the first two games of the National League division series, but says he's not certain what he'll do beyond that. Matt Cain will pitch Game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday and left-hander Madison Bumgarner will go in Game 2 on Sunday. The two tied for the team lead in victories and were...

Game 162: Reds 0, Cardinals 1

Homer Bailey failed in his attempt for back-to-back no-hitters.It took until the final game of the year for the Cincinnati Reds to play a meaningless game in the 2012 season. Thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers losing and giving the St. Louis Cardinals the second wild card and the Washington Nationals winning and clinching the best record in the National League, the outcome of last...

2012 NLDS San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview Post (and Prediction)

A series this important and monumental for my favorite professional sports franchise leaves me struggling to find the words on the eve of it’s beginning. There isn’t enough I can say about the 2012 Cincinnati Reds or the special place that they hold in my heart. When this season began, I had a vision that this team’s destiny ended up somewhere in the NLCS. I didn’t know...

These Guys are Like Family

I was talking with Mrs. Diamond Hoggers tonight. We were talking about the impending baseball playoffs and the stress I’m feeling about the Reds. She mentioned that as long as her Yankees make the World Series she’ll be happy. And then she quickly had a turn of face. Like I pointed out in jingoistic fashion, this is really her team. Even if she doesn’t know it. How could...

Here come the playoffs

Another year, another set of baseball playoffs without the Pirates. My own personal rooting interests in 2012 are, in order: A's Tigers Reds (I don't care what you say about Brandon Phillips, I like the Reds; I say the Reds being good is proof the Pirates can do it) Giants (why do my four favorite playoff teams play each other in the division...

Reds-Giants Preview

Minus his old signature toothpick, Cincinnati's Dusty Baker leaned against the batting cage intently watching his players just as he did for a decade managing the Giants. Baker is back in the Bay Area for the playoffs, 10 years after he came so close to winning a World Series with San Francisco. ''Well, I really don't have much choice,'' Baker said when...

Triple Crown or Trout? AL MVP debate a hot topic

Miguel Cabrera has his Triple Crown. MVP award, maybe not. Hold on, now. How could that be? Mike Trout, that's how. It's the hottest debate in baseball, seemingly pitting old-school traditionalists against new-age number crunchers in a bench-clearing shouting match over what constitutes ''valuable.'' At stake is the American League's Most Valuable...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.