SAN FRANCISCO —
And he took the hard-luck loss in Game 2 against the Phillies in 2010 as the victim of a blown save.
Boy did he give the bullpen a break with this masterpiece.
"A no-hitter in this type of environment is nearly impossible," Arroyo said. "A win for the ballclub is the pinnacle, nirvana."
Cincinnati beat San Francisco's two best pitchers on their home field. Matt Cain lost Game 1.
Bumgarner had pitched a one-hitter June 28 against the Reds at home, but was nothing close to that dominant this time.
The last time Baker managed in a playoff setup like this season — with the higher seed opening on the road for the first two games — he was on the other end. In 1997, while managing the favored Giants, San Francisco lost the first two games in Florida and the Marlins completed a three-game sweep of the NL division series at Candlestick Park en route to the World Series title.
Baker has felt good about these Reds all along, even more so after recently missing 11 games while recovering from a mini-stroke, including when they clinched the NL Central.
"He's kind of the heartbeat of this team," Bruce said. "To have him back for the last series and starting the playoffs, especially in San Francisco, where he obviously has a ton of history and is a storied manager here, it's good. It gives us a vibe that's pretty easy to play for."
He is getting contributions from throughout his lineup and a ready-for-anything pitching staff.
On Saturday, it was Brandon Phillips with three hits and a two-run homer and Bruce with a solo shot. The Reds added on late in Game 2 against the Giants' typically reliable bullpen with Bruce's eighth-inning double, a run-scoring triple from Drew Stubbs and an RBI single by Phillips.