Reds recognize challenge of opening on road

Reds recognize challenge of opening on road

SAN FRANCISCO -- Under the "2-3" format of this year's National League Division Series, the Reds have to play their first two games on the road vs. the Giants before getting the potential three games at home.

"I obviously don't want to step on anyone's toes. But it doesn't really feel like home-field advantage, to be honest with you," Reds right fielder Jay Bruce said.

"This is similar to '97, when we played the Florida Marlins down there," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I was with the Giants here, and we played them down there, and they beat us the first two games, and we came out here and we had one game, and they ended up being the world champions. So it kind of reminds me of that. You would rather have the 2-2-1 format, but they say that's next year."

Adding an element to Games 1 and 2 is, well, the elements themselves. Chilly temperatures, wind and fog are just some of the things the Reds will have to be prepared for.

"There's so many things that are against you," Bruce said. "But at the end of the day, it's baseball. Come in here, take care of business, go home and finish it up there. I think it puts more pressure on them. They've got limited chances. They've got to get started hot. But it's tougher to win on the road, period. You play the hand you're dealt, and we're just as prepared as we would have been otherwise."

An electric atmosphere is something the crowds at AT&T Park are known to bring to the table.

"These people get loud, and they are expecting the same result they had two years ago," Baker said. "I was sitting in the stands, me and my son, one game [in the 2010 NL Championship Series vs. the Phillies]. I was yelling at Charlie [Manuel], sitting behind Charlie. Now somebody is yelling at me."