Tonight is a match up of first round draft picks from 2006 as Drew Stubbs will finally face off against Tim Lincecum. Oh wait, strike that. Stubbs isn't ready.
Well, at least Lincecum will be pitching. The defending NL Cy Young Award winner is putting up better numbers across the board this year. He's leading or is tied for the league lead in wins, complete games, shutouts, and strike outs. His walks are down from last season. His hits are down and his home runs allowed are down. Not surprisingly, his ERA is also down to 2.18, though he is slightly behind league leader Chris Carpenter's 2.10 ERA.
This will be the first time the Reds get to face the right-handed ace. I honestly would not be surprised if the Reds failed to get a hit off of him.
Homer Bailey has the unenviable task of being the opposing pitcher against Lincecum tonight. The good thing for Bailey is that Giants offense is almost as anemic as the Reds. They've scored just 14 more runs than the Reds and just barely top the Reds in each of the slash stats (AVG/OBP/SLG) except for batting average where somehow they are up at .261 compared to the Reds .241 average. I would not be surprised to see a series of 2-1 games this weekend. That is, if the Reds pitching can hold up their end of the bargain.
Game time is not until 10:15 pm on the east coast. It has been over a year since the Reds have won a game in California. Their last win was on May 24, 2008 in San Diego. The next day they lost an 18-inning game to the Padres, a game in which Aaron Harang pitched 4 innings of relief. Coincidence? I think not. (hat tip to @ctrent for the info).
And as you'll remember, the Reds must win 2 games in a row before the baby can get out of the basket. Good luck, baby!