The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Do or Die for Both Giants and A's

Must win a reality for fans on both sides of the Bay.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Giants are in a must win situation and they are putting all their hopes in one Ryan Vogelsong.

    Update: Giants Win!

    The Giants beat the Reds 2-1, but it took 10 innings. Game 4 is tomorrow at 1 p.m. - Barry Zito vs TBD.

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    Bay Area baseball fans have their backs against the wall.

    The Giants must win in Cincinnati and the A's must win in Oakland. If either team loses, it's season over - period.

    The Giants are up first on Tuesday with the first pitch set to be thrown in Cincinnati at the Great American Ball Park scheduled for 2:37 p.m. California-time.

    The Giants will put Ryan Vogelsong up on the hill. Vogelsong finished the regular season with three solid starts including a stellar performance in the final game of the year against the LA Dodgers.

    "It's about doing what's right," Bochy said Sunday when asked why he chose Vogelsong over Tim Lincecum. "The way Vogy is throwing right now, he deserves to go Tuesday."

    Lincecum, on the other hand, ended his season with two bad starts, including giving up three home runs in his final start of the year in San Diego.

    Lincecum took the news like a man. He came in from the bullpen Sunday pitching two flawless innings in the team's 9-0 blowout loss.

    Now to the Reds. Cincinnati hasn't won a home playoff game in 17 years. The Giants need that number to move to 18 years if they want to make it to the NLCS.

    The Reds are putting Homer Bailey on the hill. Bailey threw a no-hitter just two weeks ago, but the Giants are hoping he lives up to his first name (Homer) and he gives up lots of them.
     
    Bochy told the Associated Press his team was l upbeat about their chances during Monday's flight to Ohio.    

    "I think more than anything, they were relaxing back there, doing what they normally do," Bochy told AP. "Some guys were playing cards. We did have some family on the trip and they were watching movies. There was really nothing any different than any trip we take. So I can't say I noticed anything different about it.''

    "The cliche is to say it's just another game, but I feel 'just another game' doesn't count when you're talking about the postseason," Vogelsong said Monday. "And when you're talking about being down 0-2 in a series, you can't say it's just another game, either."

    Here's Bochy's line-up card:

    • Angel Pagan CF
    • Marco Scutaro 2B
    • Pablo Sandoval 3B
    • Buster Posey C
    • Pence RF
    • Belt 1B
    • Blanco LF
    • Crawford SS
    • Vogelsong RHP

    If the Giants can pull out a win, the team will put Barry Zito on the mound for Game 4.

    Then, it's off to the Oakland A's: The first pitch is at 6 p.m. against the Detroit Tigers. The team also must win at O.co Coliseum to play another day. If they lose, they're out for good.

    The daunting task will at least be attempted in front of the home crowd. It would follow a season full of improbable wins that got them there in the first place.

    Lefty Brett Anderson (4-2) will get the ball for the A's. Anderson has looked strong in six starts after a 16-month absence from Tommy John surgery. He is also nursing a right oblique injury he suffered after falling awkwardly off the mound on Sept. 19.

    Righty Anibal Sanchez (4-6) will pitch for Detroit.  

    It's worth noting that the Tigers swept Oakland out of the playoffs in 2006.  Of course, none of the current A's were on that team.