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San Francisco Giants fly to Cincinnati for weekend series

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 5: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants tags out Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds at home plate in the second inning after Votto tried to score from second base at Great American Ball Park on May 5, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 5: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants tags out Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds at home plate in the second inning after Votto tried to score from second base at Great American Ball Park on May 5, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 04:Andrew Suarez #59 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch in the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 4, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Game Three: Suarez (4-8, 4.40 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) vs. Castillo (6-10, 5.04 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Although he struggled in the first inning, Andrew Suarez maintained composure and shut down the Dodgers. Sam Dyson handed him a no decision, and the Giants offense recouped their lead to get the win. Suarez has struggled quite a bit early in a good portion of his games, with a slugging percentage of .458 in his first time through the lineup.

It’s ironic because the second time through the order, the batting average and on base percentage go up while the slugging percentage goes down. The Reds saw Suarez at AT&T Park, where he gave up four runs in the first inning, including a Duvall three-run homer. He settled down, but the Giants could not overcome the deficit.

This will be Luis Castillo‘s first career start against the Giants. Although he was more than decent last season, he has fallen off quite a bit in his sophomore year. Castillo is far more efficient at home than on the road, but has some of his worst stats again NL West teams. Much like the Reds are looking to feast on Suarez, the Giants will be doing the same for Castillo.

The only Giant he has faced in his career is Andrew McCutchen, who is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. The Giants are marginally better at right-handed pitching, but their offensive splits have been at their worst in the month of August.

Don’t Put On the Red Light…

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If the Giants plan on coming to town and embarrassing the Reds, they need to be firing on all cylinders. The Reds aren’t putting up much of a fight with the team they have, but the Giants haven’t necessarily been fighting either, at least not in the batter’s box. Winning the series and playing spoiler against the Dodgers was huge.

However, the Giants can’t keep scoring late to salvage games and earn wins. It did not pan out too well in their last game, with McCutchen’s 3-run shot providing the only scoring. They need to score early, and take advantage of their scoring opportunities. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is what it is.

The Giants pitching cannot allow the Reds to develop any kind of momentum. Although they are without one of their top power bats, they still have ways to get earn runs. Their stress-inducing outfielder Billy Hamilton has been hitting well over the last week, but more importantly he has three stolen bases in his last six games. The entire Reds infield is pretty much an offensive threat against any pitcher.

It’s reasonable to expect the Giants to take two-out-of-three games, but let’s be realistic. If they still want a shot at both races, they need to take all three games in Cincinnati. Expect there to be some rain delays as well, with the biggest chances of thunderstorms on Friday night.

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