Mark Sheldon (friend of the Nation) has taken a look at the potential matchups for the National League Division Series. (Did you know, by the way, that the Reds have actually clinched a spot in the playoffs? Yep, it’s true. You may have missed the news reports about this.)
If the postseason began today, the National League Division Series match-ups would be…
Games 1, 2 and 5*: CIN @ PHI, ATL @ SF
Games 3 and 4*: PHI @ CIN, SF @ ATL
The Giants (90-68) are two games up on the Reds (88-70) for the second seed in the NL.
It’s looking increasingly likely that these will be the actual matchups. I just don’t see San Diego catching either Atlanta or San Francisco.
So…we all wanted to avoid Philadelphia, but that’s Cincinnati’s probably opponent. We can argue all day and night* about the wisdom of giving everyone a rest last night — for the record, I don’t have a problem with Dusty’s decision there — but the fact is that the Reds probably need to win out to have a chance at the #2 seed in the National League. Even then, someone would have to collapse for the Reds to grab that seed.
Therefore, let’s look at a series against Philly.** Game One, in Philadelphia, would be on Wednesday, October 6, followed by Game Two on Friday.
That means, of course, that Cincinnati’s first home game would be Game Three of the series on Sunday, October 10. I’ll be there, hopefully to see the Reds finish off a sweep and clinch a berth in the National League Championship series.
We’ll have a full preview of the series once it’s official, but I’m interested in your thoughts on playing Philadelphia. The first thing that comes to mind is that three-headed monster at the top of their rotation: Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels. They also have a pretty good everyday lineup, and most of them have been there and done that in the postseason.
I know many of you didn’t want to play Philly in the first round, and I understand that. If it happens…well, seems like a good way for the young, up-and-coming Reds to grab, symbolically, the National League torch from the best team of the last three years. It’s our turn.
*…and many of you have been discussing just that, in a mostly civil tone. That’s one of my favorite things about RN, by the way. Our conversations seldom devolve into the type of neanderthal back-and-forth you see almost everywhere else on the interwebs. Thanks!
**One of my new favorite things: looking at the Postseason page on MLB.com, and seeing the Reds logo prominently displayed (see below). I’m still in disbelief that the good guys are actually back in the playoffs.