October Confidential: Giants vs. Pirates

October Confidential: Giants vs. Pirates

The Giants will be in Pittsburgh to face the Pirates in the National Wild Card Game tonight at 8 ET on ESPN. The Pirates will be looking to repeat as Wild Card winners and advance to face the Nationals in the NLDS, while the Giants are trying to build a run and return to the World Series, which they won in 2010 and 2012.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Madison Bumgarner
"He's unique in that his delivery is sort of crossfire, coming across his body. He's able to throw his cutter back across his body that comes in on righties that's very good. That's hard to pickup as a hitter because he hides it behind his back very well. Anytime you can do that, and also have plus stuff, that makes it tough on hitters."
-- NL West hitter

  Date   Result Highlights
  Oct. 1   SF 8, PIT 0 video

Buster Posey
"He's got that catcher's mentality. He'll call the game in his mind as you pitch to him. He's a hard guy to fool because he's thinking along with you as a pitcher. It's key to not get into patterns with him, you've got to mix things up with him, so staying away from any regular patterns is very important."
-- NL West pitcher

Hunter Pence
"Hunter is a difficult guy to pitch to. He's a guy who is able to hit bad pitches or what I call pitchers' pitches, pitches you shouldn't be able to drive. He reminds me a little of Vladimir Guerrero. You bounce a ball and he can still dig it out. I've thrown a fastball at his head and he's hit a home run off me. I think he's a guy you just got to execute your pitches and hope he gets himself out."
-- NL West pitcher

Read the complete Giants October Confidential » 

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

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Mark Melancon
"He throws an above average fastball, a really good cutter and he's got a big curveball. He really never pitches you the same twice. The first time you face him, he'll just pound you with cutters. The next time, he'll throw all two-seamers away. He's starting to backdoor his cutter and he's starting to pitch, you know? He's got good stuff. The ball moves a ton. He locates well. Even when he misses, he's around the zone with all his pitches. He can work. He'll start with something off and he'll just kind of keep working out and see how much the ump will give him."
-- NL Central infielder

Andrew McCutchen
"I think you have to be able to establish inside and get him off the outside part of the plate. He's really good on the inside corner too though. He's just a really good, premier hitter. You have to get him out on good pitches. He's going to hit your mistakes. You just have to execute a pitch. A good located pitch will get you a good result, statistically, a lot of times. He's so good on the outside of the plate. You have to be able to command the inside of the plate and get him looking at both sides. If they can eliminate a spot on you, it makes it easier for him."
-- NL Central pitcher

Josh Harrison
"The thing opponents have to worry about most is his confidence level. He's got a great deal of confidence going into the postseason. This is a guy that does all the little things to help a team win. He plays really solid defense, is a good base runner and can hit really well. He can drive the ball to all fields and can hurt you in a lot of different ways. More than anything else, it's containing a guy that can put the fat part of the bat on the ball on a regular basis. I expect him to have a really nice playoff run. They leaned on him heavily this year and I think he will do well in the playoffs.

Read the complete Pirates October Confidential »