NLDS Games Two and Three Review: Cincinnati

Due to various commitments, I saw very little baseball this weekend, including missing both of the final two Reds-Phillies match-ups. That makes writing up reviews of them a bit challenging, as I’m relegated to box scores, highlights, and scrolling through my twitter feed for at-the-time reactions to what was happening. Based on those three things, this is what I can basically surmise:

The Reds sucked at defense. Cole Hamels was excellent.

And that’s basically the story of the weekend. On Friday night, the Reds committed four critical errors which led to most of the Phillies offense. Back to back fifth inning botches by Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen set up a base hit by Chase Utley to score two runs, and then the epic double error by Jay Bruce and Phillips gave up the lead for good.

On Sunday, another error by Orlando Cabrera gave the Phillies their first run, and the only one they would need, as Hamels did his best Roy Halladay impression, shutting the Reds down and giving his team a first round sweep.

Clearly, the Reds were just outplayed. They didn’t hit, they didn’t field, and while they pitched well, they didn’t pitch quite well enough. They managed to hold the Phillies to a .212/.301/.273 line for the series, but didn’t spread the baserunners out, so the Phillies were able to get 13 runs in three games out of a .574 OPS.

You could make some arguments that Dusty Baker made a few poor decisions and the umpiring wasn’t exactly stellar, but those things didn’t affect the outcome of the series. This series was decided by two excellent pitching performances and one terrible defensive performance. Everything else is just superfluous.

So now, the Phillies advance for a match-up with either San Francisco or Atlanta, where they will be large favorites again. The Reds head home and prepare for 2011, and while the season didn’t end the way they would have hoped, they have to be happy with the results overall. They have a lot of talent to build around and a winter to address some of the problems on the roster. Given a few days to get over their performance in the division series, they’ll look back and be proud of what they accomplished this year. And they should be.

We hoped you liked reading NLDS Games Two and Three Review: Cincinnati by Dave Cameron!

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Reds have the best offense in the NL, and get shut out in games 1 and 3. Best defense in the majors, and make 4 errors to lose game 2. Pitchers actually pitch well, and we’re swept in 3 games. Baseball is a stupid, stupid game.