Giants, Reds still deadlocked into 9th

The Reds opened the game with four base runners in the first inning, and it looked like they were going to put another whooping on the Giants' suddenly beleaguered pitching staff. And then suddenly ... it stopped. Everything stopped. All action in the game stopped. No more hits for anyone.

The Giants have one hit. The Reds have one hit since the fourth, and that was an infield hit by Scott Rolen. It's been a slog for both teams offensively, with Homer Bailey and Sean Marshall combining to shut out the Giants, and Ryan Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Javier Lopez shutting the Reds down.

Casilla walked Joey Votto. That was exciting for the Reds. But Casilla struck Ryan Ludwick out, and Lopez got Jay Bruce on a first-pitch pop-up.

Other than that? It's as if the teams switched ballparks in some kind of celestial Folger's challenge.

The Giants tried to make some noise in the top of the eighth, sending up a vaunted murderer's row of pinch-hitters for each spot in the last three spots in their lineup. The right-handed troika of Xavier Nady, Joaquin Arias, and Ryan Theriot all went up against the left-handed Marshall, and they were retired quietly.

The succession of pinch-hitters means that backup catcher Hector Sanchez is the last position player on the Giants' bench. Surely, that couldn't be a factor in extra innings, right?

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