Not only do the Reds have the opportunity to sweep the Giant out of the playoffs tonight, but they also have a chance to celebrate doing so on their home turf at Great American Ballpark. Cincinnati dominated at AT&T Park in the first two games of the series, winning 5-2 in Game 1 and 9-0 in Game 2. Now in front of their hometown crowd they will attempt to go 3-0 and knock the 2010 World Series Champions out of the Playoffs without a single victory.
Homer Bailey will get the ball for Cincy. He ended his regular season with a couple of spectacular starts. On September 28th, he threw a no-hitter against the Pirates. Then in the season finale, he pitched four scoreless innings against the Cardinals. Tonight he has the chance to give the Reds their first series win in the postseason since 1995. Meanwhile, Ryan Vogelsong will try to keep the Giants alive in the postseason. Vogelsong struggled towards the end of the regular season, but overall had a solid 2012 campaign that saw him go 14-9. He finished the season strong with back-to-back wins against our very own Padres, followed by a no-decision against the Dodgers in which he allowed just one unearned run in five innings. He'll have to figure out a way to succeed where Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner failed, by keeping the Reds off the scoreboard. And Giants hitters will need to give him the run support that they were unable to give Cain and Bumgarner in the first two games of the series.
Later tonight, the other Bay Area team will also be trying to stave off elimination as the Athletics and Tigers face off in Oakland. The first two games were close, but Detroit was able to pull off 3-1 and 5-4 wins at home over Oakland. Tonight, the A's will have the home field advantage as they look to keep their postseason alive after the fantastic come-from-behind stretch that got them to the playoffs in the first place.
Anibal Sanchez will try to clean up in Oakland as he takes the mound for the Tigers tonight. After coming to Detroit from Miami in late July, he went 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA. He made one start against the A's this season and was tagged for six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings of a loss. He has the task of coming up with a victory tonight in unfamiliar territory at the Coliseum, where he has never pitched before. Making the start for the hometown team will be Brett Anderson. He made his first start of the season on August 21st after taking time off to undergo and recover from Tommy John surgery. From then until September 19th, he went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA and was looking solid. In his September 19th start, however, he had to exit the game in the 3rd inning and has been out ever since with a right oblique strain. Now he makes his return to the mound to try to salvage Game 3 for the A's in front of the crowd at the Coliseum.