On the Reds Finale

Sunday night I attended Game 3 of the Reds-Phillies series – my first baseball post-season game ever. Sadly, I saw a very good Phillies team finish the Reds in a three-game sweep.

Game 1: Phillies starting pitching do what top pitchers do – keep good hitters off balance. Ray Halladay’s performance was a notch above outstanding.

Game 2: The Reds did embarrass themselves in game 2. Leading 4-0, committing 4 errors, untimely walks and hit batsmen – actually, that was more than embarrassing. The Reds had a chance to get out of Philadelphia with a split, and let it get away.

Game 3: Cole Hamels did a great job of keeping batters out of sync, noted that the Reds had very few hard-hit balls. Besides being 7-0 against the Reds in his career, Hamels followed Halladay’s lead and did what good pitchers do – take the bat out of the batter’s hands.

From my point of view as a fan,

  • Arroyo and Cueto pitched well enough to win.
  • Besides striking out too many times, Votto and Rolen went 2 for 21 in the series with double digit strikeouts.
  • The number of errors by infielders was disastrous.
  • Phillies didn’t pound the ball, but won with better pitching and defense.

From Cincinnati sportstalk host Lance McAlister.

  • 1: Hits by Joey Votto in 10 ab’s
  • 1: Number of Reds hitters with more than one hit in NLDS (Phillips, 3)
  • 4: Runs scored by Reds in NLDS
  • 7: Errors committed by Reds in NLDS
  • 7: Consecutive playoff losses by Reds (9 consecutive World Series game wins)
  • 8: Strikeouts by Scott Rolen in 11 AB’s
  • 11: Fewest hits EVER in a playoff series
  • 15: Number of times the Reds were shutout this season
  • 19: Number of Reds without playoff experience, number of Phillies with playoff experience
  • 24: Strikeouts by Reds hitters in NLDS (4 walks)
  • .124: Reds batting average in NLDS (11 for 89)
  • 2.52: ERA by Reds pitchers in NLDS

 

I’m proud of the 2010 Reds as they simply lost to a better team whose pitching was awesome. The Reds surprised me and many others to win the NL Central; and they did it fair and square. Simply put, anyone saying the Reds didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs is a baseball moron.

Good luck to the Phillies and their fans. Meanwhile, Reds pitchers and catchers report in 127 days, and Opening Day is 170 days away.

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On the 2010 Reds

The 2010 Cincinnati Reds surprised many – including myself. Although some may call it a fluke, I simply say nah baby nah because the 162-game marathon allows the cream to surface. 2010 may be a one-year fluke, but that does not matter because fans and players of the 22 teams currently sitting at home would switch places in a heartbeat.

The reasons for the success is simple: offense, pitching, and defense – especially compared to 2009. After the stats, I give my playoff thoughts.

  • Joey Votto hit, and hit very well (37/113/.324) – possible MVP
  • Despite a mid-season slump, Jay Bruce produced (25/70/.280)
  • Scott Rolen remained healthy (20//83/.285)
  • Jonny Gomes overproduction (18/86/.266) made up for Brandon Phillips’ underproduction (18/59/.275)
  • Catchers produced (14/97/.290s)
  • Shortstops produced (9/67/.260s)
  • Drew Stubbs still strikes out too much, but can scoff at his stats (22/77/.255)
  • Branson Arroyo produced 17 wins
  • Aaron Harang didn’t produce, but a team of young pitchers stepped in.
  • After a poor first two months, the bullpen and starting pitching was good.
  • There other stats that are important that I didn’t find as last at-bat wins and running first to third.

Team Records

  • Record: 91-71, 478; (’09 78-84, .478)
  • Home: 49-32 (’09, 40-41)
  • Road: 42-39 (’09, 29-36)
  • East: 17-15, (’09, 16-19)
  • Cent: 49-30 (’09, 42-34)
  • West: 17-19, (’09, 10-22)
  • Place: Div 1st, NL 3rd (’09, 4th, 10th)

Offense

  • Runs: 1st (’09: 11th)
  • AVE: .272; 1st (’09: .247, 15th)
  • AB: 3rd (’09: 11th)
  • AVE w/RISP: .278; 1st (’09: .250, 12th)
  • AVE w/RISP 2 outs: .269, 1st (’09: 223, 11th)

Pitching

  • ERA: 4.01, 7th (’09: 4.18; 7th)
  • WHIP: 1.33, 7th (’09; 1.37; 8th)
  • AVE: .254, 5th (’09; .258; 6th)

Defense

  • ERR: 1st lowest (’09 10th highest)
  • F% .988 (1st) (’08: .985, 6th)
  • DER .7176 (3rd) (’08: .7170 3rd)

Regarding the playoffs, the Reds ended a 15-year absence. Although the Reds are one of the few teams that can keep pace with the Phillies hitting, the Phillies don’t have to face their own pitching. That’s not to discount the Reds starters, but Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels are quite the force in a short series with every other day an off day. As a whole, the Reds struggle against ace pitchers, thus I am wary of a sweep. Stranger things have happened, thus the reason why they play the game.

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