When they awoke Wednesday, they learned they would be facing a right-hander in Mike Leake, against whom the hitters in manager Bruce Bochy's lineup tote a career .397 batting average (23-for-58). That includes third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has seven hits in 10 at-bats -- including a pair of home runs -- against Leake.
The Reds named Leake their Game 4 starter late Wednesday morning. The 24-year-old assumed the roster spot of Johnny Cueto, who departed after straining his right oblique eight pitches into his Game 1 start and is now rendered ineligible for the NL Championship Series should Cincinnati advance.
The Reds could punch their ticket Wednesday if Leake can stymie a slew of hitters who have handled him well in his five career appearances against the NL West club. Of course, the Giants haven't had much success off any Cincinnati hurler during this series.
San Francisco has tallied only 12 hits through three contests. Its three base knocks in Tuesday's triumph were the fewest in a postseason victory since 2004. Leake will follow in the footsteps of Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey, who both spun seven innings of one-hit ball.
"[Tuesday] night, we faced a guy that came off a no-hitter and he even said he thought he had better stuff than he had in the no-hitter," Bochy said. "Our hitters said he threw well, throwing hard, hitting the spots. So I think it's more a case of the pitching we have been facing.
"We still have to find a way to score runs and really we did a pretty good job. We got a couple of walks, moved them over, and got a sac fly. That's what you have to do in a game like that. So it would be nice to get these bats going, but we have been facing great pitching."