SAN FRANCISCO -- As Madison Bumgarner prepares for his Game 2 start Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants hope the left-hander can tap into the same youthful bliss that carried him through a dazzling postseason in 2010.

Bumgarner, now a wise old 23, conceded Saturday that he was thinking too much as he was going 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA in September.

Now that the playoffs are here, he's switching his brain off.

"Once you get in the postseason, you can't think about the mechanics, can't think about any of that," Bumgarner said. "You just have to go out there and compete with whatever you've got."

His naïveté served him well in 2010 when he became the fourth youngest pitcher in history to win a World Series game. In all, he went 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four postseason games.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy played down Bumgarner's mechanical issues, saying the pitcher "just got out of sync a little bit there." In Bumgarner's final start, he gave up four runs in four innings and lasted just 76 pitches against the San Diego Padres.

Bochy said the pitcher is making too big of a turn in his windup and will try to "shorten it up a little bit."

Bumgarner faced the Reds once this season -- on June 28, long before his mechanical issues popped up -- and threw a one-hit shutout. He struck out eight and allowed only a sixth-inning single to Ryan Hanigan.

Bumgarner is confident he can rediscover that form in time for the October stage.

"Obviously, you're going to have ups and downs throughout the year," he said. "It's about how you can compete and minimize the damage."

  • Aubrey Huff was a key reason why the Giants won a World Series in 2010. Two years later, Huff had to wait until the last minute to find out if he would even make the postseason roster.

    Huff was told Friday that he would be a contributor off the bench -- and he was thrilled.

    "I certainly wanted to be a part of this," he said. "I have a different job this year, but it's something I'll embrace."

    Huff has nearly as many disabled list stints (three) as extra-base hits (five) this season. He started just 15 games and only one after the All-Star break, and that start, last Sunday in San Diego, came only because Bochy was giving most his regulars a day off.

    The 35-year-old has struggled with right knee issues for much of the season, leaving him nearly incapable of making a trip around the bases. Huff had a cortisone shot Sept. 26 and said his knee feels twice as healthy as it did before.

    "I'm not going to steal a bag, but when did I ever?" Huff joked.

    Bochy saw enough improvement to add Huff to the postseason roster without including an obvious choice to run for him.

  • Outfielder Francisco Peguero, catcher Eli Whiteside and right-handers Jean Machi and Clay Hensley will travel with the Giants and be available as injury replacements.

  • Reds Game 2 starter Bronson Arroyo is 3-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 career games against the Giants. He is 0-4 with a 4.11 ERA in six career starts at AT&T Park.

  • Entering play Saturday, the Reds were 19-9 all-time in playoff series openers.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.