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CIN@SF Gm2: Bumgarner excited to get nod for Game 2

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Reds jumping out to a 1-0 advantage in the National League Division Series, the Giants will put their season's hopes on the shoulders of a 23-year-old, while the Reds entrust a 35-year-old veteran to pitch Game 2.

The Reds definitely grabbed hold of the steering wheel for this series with their 5-2 victory Saturday night, but the pitching matchup for Sunday's Game 2 at 9:30 p.m. ET on TBS isn't as lopsided in postseason experience as it is in age.

Madison Bumgarner has two postseason wins under his belt, and Bronson Arroyo has none. With three, Bumgarner actually has as many October starts as Arroyo, who has made 11 appearances in four trips to the playoffs.

But Arroyo has plenty of experience behind him, enough to know that being ahead 1-0 is better than the alternative for a team that was swept two years ago and a franchise that hadn't won a postseason game since 1995.

"I think winning one is going to be huge for us, especially in the next two games without question, not because of the last 17 years, but because of 2010 and because of our fan base being reluctant to believe in this ballclub, regardless of the 96 or 97 wins we have," Arroyo said. "So I think getting off to a good start is going to be huge for this team."

Mission accomplished, and that puts the Giants in a difficult spot. Buster Posey, the National League MVP candidate who homered to put the Giants on the board Saturday, says the mental approach won't change for the NL West champions.

"I think at this point of the year, in the postseason, your mindset is to win -- win every pitch, win every inning," Posey said.

It'll be out of Bumgarner's hand that the first pitch will be thrown Sunday, and the Giants have a lot of confidence in the young left-hander despite some struggles down the stretch in September. His 5.47 ERA in five starts was by far the highest of any month this year, as Bumgarner battled his mechanics.

"Obviously, you're going to have ups and downs throughout the year, it's just about how you can compete and minimize damage when you are going through a tough stretch," he said.

The Reds were 32-18 against left-handed starters in the regular season, but their effort against Bumgarner was not one of those on the winning side. In fact, Bumgarner pitched his first shutout with a one-hitter June 28 against the Reds in San Francisco.

Arroyo, meanwhile, faced the Giants twice this season, both no-decisions, the latter a July 1 game the Reds lost, 4-3, in which Arroyo allowed two earned runs on seven hits in six innings.

The veteran has an 0-4 mark with a 4.11 ERA in six career starts at AT&T Park, but he looks forward to pitching at the quirky park by the bay.

"It's a huge advantage for our starting staff and theirs as well to be able to pound the strike zone a little more, have some more room for error and not [be] worrying about balls on the outer half to a righty being flicked over the right-field wall as they can in our place," Arroyo said.

Reds: Experience counts
• The Reds have 18 players on their 25-man Division Series roster, including 13 who were with the club during its 2010 defeat at the hands of the Phillies. Five others, including starting left fielder Ryan Ludwick and setup man Jonathan Broxton, have played in the postseason elsewhere.

"It's a different team. It's a more mature team," manager Dusty Baker said.

They certainly have enough mentors around. The Reds' coaching staff has had 207 games of experience as players, managers and coaches.

• Ryan Hanigan and Joey Votto are the only Reds with homers off Bumgarner on their resume. The Reds have a combined .170 batting average against the young lefty.

• When Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce hit homers Saturday, it wasn't he first time they'd both gone long in a postseason game. They both hit homers in Game 2 of the 2010 NLDS, solo shots that helped them to a 4-0 lead. They lost, 7-4.

Giants: Sandoval already ahead of 2010
• Two years earlier, Pablo Sandoval was lost, knocked from the Giants' starting lineup in the postseason. But with a single and another hard liner caught for an out in Game 1, Sandoval showed that he's in a much better place in October 2012. He already has matched his Division Series hits total from 2010.

"There's a great difference," Sandoval said after the Giants finished their workout at AT&T Park. "I'm going to have more action out there. I'm not going to put pressure on [myself], or try to do too much. 2010 was a tough deal for me. But it's past."

• Aubrey Huff, who was instrumental in the Giants' 2010 run, was kept on the roster as a veteran bat off the bench. He saw his first action pinch-hitting for starter Matt Cain in the fifth, lofting a flyout to center.

• Four members of the Giants' starting lineup made their postseason debuts Saturday -- first baseman Brandon Belt, shortstop Brandon Crawford, center fielder Angel Pagan and left fielder Gregor Blanco. Among them, Pagan waited the longest for his first postseason at-bat, having played 695 games in the regular season. He went 1-for-5 with a single in his debut. Reliever George Kontos also pitched in October for the first time.

Worth noting
• The Giants won each of their Game 1 matchups en route to the 2010 World Series, but went off that track Saturday night. The Reds stopped a trend of their own, winning their first postseason game of any kind since sweeping the 1995 NLDS vs. the Dodgers.

• Monday will be a travel day for the series, with the two teams arriving early in the morning following the West Coast night start Sunday. They'll meet for Tuesday's Game 3 at 5:30 p.m. ET. Comments