Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

National League Division Series, Game Two
Cincinnati 9
San Francisco 0

W: B. Arroyo (1-0)
L: M. Bumgarner (0-1)

Reds lead series, 2-0

–Bronson Arroyo was simply spectacular: seven shutout innings, allowing only two baserunners (one hit, one walk). Masterful. He was changing speeds and changing arm angles and making the Giants look silly. Vintage Bronson.

–On the offensive side of the ledger, where do we start? Well, Joey Votto was 3-4 with two runs scored.

Brandon Phillips had two doubles and an RBI.
Ryan Hanigan was 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
Ryan Ludwick was 2-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI on a solo homer in the second inning.
Jay Bruce doubled in two runs.
Drew Stubbs tripled in a run.

Good night for the offense. (Yes, that was an understatement.) Nine runs on thirteen hits.

–JJ Hoover and Jose Arredondo closed out the game with two shutout innings. In all, Reds pitchers held San Francisco to two hits.

–None. Absolutely none whatsoever.

–Are you kidding me? Cincinnati puts together a dominant performance to take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. What a fun, fun night. No reason to over-analyze it.

–I just can’t praise Bronson’s performance enough. He retired the first fourteen San Francisco hitters. He retired 21 of the 23 batters he faced, only threw 91 pitches, and he had hitters baffled all evening long. It was a pitching clinic. I told you Dusty was right when he decided to pitch Arroyo in Game 2 (no, I didn’t really tell you that, I must admit).

–We’ve all been banking on this (because of the miserable September the Reds offense suffered through), but there’s a reason that every study confirms that a team’s performance in September bears no causal relationship to how they will perform in the postseason. We haven’t seen offense like this in Cincinnati in a while, but the club has certainly gotten hot at the perfect time.

–I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about this Reds postseason that’s different from 2010.

–These TBS announcers keep talking about how Joey Votto is so injured that he can barely walk, and certainly can’t hit. I dunno, he looked pretty darn good to me tonight.

–The Giants hitters were 0-2 with runners in scoring position. Clearly, that’s why they lost. Gotta do better with RISP.

–So, as you know, they had to move the game to TNT, because of the ALDS rain delay. The funniest part of the evening was the reaction on Twitter from all the people watching Law & Order, when TNT cut in and started showing the baseball game. People were freaking out over a repeat of a program from 1995. It was great.

–Some interesting points from tonight’s Twitter feed:

–I meant that last tweet above. Every string Baker has pulled has worked out perfectly. Credit where credit is due.

–Listen closely: the Reds will go for the sweep of this NLDS series on Tuesday at Great American Ballpark. If you have a chance to attend the game, you have to go. What a fun time to be a Reds fan.

As for me, I can’t make it to Game 3, though I do have tickets for Game 4. It would not hurt my feelings at all if Game 4 was unnecessary.


35 Responses

  1. VottoManCrush

    I’m so glad I’m a Reds fan right now

  2. tpteach

    It’s not a negative, only a concern. What is up with our 9th inning pitching issues? Are the Giants just that hard to put away? Or will this come back to bite us in a close game? I’d love a 1-2-3 ninth inning on Tuesday please!

  3. 90reds

    SF fans are complaining about their manager’s decision to throw two hard-throwers back to back in the first two games. FWIW I thought that would be appropriate here

  4. Number 14

    Coming into the postseason the Reds were 76-16 when scoring 4 or more runs. They also were 70-25 when they hit a HR. So far those trends are continuing.

    I hope their reluctance to start Frazier and their insistance on using Arredondo/Cairo/Valdez doesn’t come back to hurt us later in the postseason. Either way, things are working for now.

  5. vicferrari

    So in the end, all that hand wringing about Arroyo being the game 2 starter was for….


    Just trust Dusty, guys, he knows what he’s doing.

    I hope everyone stays positive and do not do the “I told you so’s.” and fire Dusty rantsif Bailey pitches to his 5+ ERA at GABP. People complaining about Arroyo were just irrational, the legit complaints were about not starting Bailey on the road. It is pretty easy to manage when everyone produces. Mike Leake and Todd Redmond could have started and they would still be up 2-0, no matter who the Giants threw the Reds pounded them and if someone told you Latos and Chapman would have the team high in ERA over the 2 games what would have thought?

  6. vicferrari

    Another positive: After drawing a walk his first time up, Rolen drives in a run with a line drive single. It was significant at the time, putting the Reds up by 2-0.

    It set the tone and without it who knows if more guys start pressing and its 1-0 in the late innings and one of the bullpen guys has an off night. The Giants and the rest of the league know they cannot pitch around anyone, …well except Homer Bailey.

  7. bearcats2004

    I really enjoyed the Nats win over the Cardinals. Have been rooting for a Reds-Nats NLCS for months.

    BTW the Vegas odds makers said the most likely WS is Reds-Yankees. Whoever they are, how do they know more than the “baseball analysts” ?

    That’s not really how it works. Odds just reflect where the bets are being made. So if lots of people are wanting to bet on those two teams, their odds will be naturally lower.

  8. sezwhom1

    NEGATIVES –None. Absolutely none whatsoever.

    100% agreement! Chris Wilson’s comment about the Reds defensive positioning being remarkable is spot on. Never seen so many line drvies…right at ‘um! High praise all around so let’s finish the deal on Tuesday. Many were saying Rolen and Votto didn’t look good in Game 1. How’d they look in Game 2?

  9. BenL

    @renbutler: @reagansdaddy: Yeah. I’m planning to drive from a significant distance for game 4, stay in a hotel, and everything. Whether my wife can make it or not depends on the timing, as do my travel and lodging arrangements. It’s pretty annoying that they haven’t announced the timing of the game yet.

  10. BenL

    2010 they just got their feet wet.

    In 2010 they had their heads held underwater. This is much better experience 🙂

  11. CaptainTonyKW

    I imagine when people give credit to advance scouting they are also giving credit to the numbers crunchers. Advance scouting does not give Maddon (or whoever) raw data. They have to compile it and put it into a format that is easily analyzed and digested by the manager.

    On the advance scouts, that may not be it.I don’t know what the Reds organization does, but this may well be technology based.For example, the Rays have all the data for each game and Maddon reads it every day over breakfast.It’s quite interesting, actually.

  12. vicferrari

    Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

    Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake.

    But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty.

    I do not find the Latos thing that unconventional, when your starter goes out in the 1st and all your picthers are rested, it would have been incredibly dumb not to use a starter. They could have went with Arroyo or Bailey as well and the way the Giants hit it probably would not have mattered. Using Lecure was a good decision as he had pretty good chance to be successful coming in with 0-2 count and 1 out. It is all working out and its a good thing, go Homer!

  13. vared

    I know it is stating the obvious but you’ve got to love ESPN/SportsCenter. Which of yesterday’s baseball playoff games would the majority of people probably know the least about? I would guess the one that started at 9:37. So, let’s open SportsCenter this morning with Yankees/Orioles highlights, then go basically all football. I know it’s all about ratings and that game also had a delayed start. Still it gets old though. Surprised they didn’t go from Yankees highlights to an update on the Boston managerial search.

  14. RichmondRed

    I think Bronson goes on some kind of cycle where he will pitch one game totally out of his mind, then over a course of 5 games slowly lose the ability to throw all over the place and still get calls, and then rediscover himself and make the strikezone graphics look like a Jackson Pollack painting.

    People don’t discuss enough how pitchers should be watching guys like Dickey and Arroyo to extend their careers. Instead of humming it across the plate every time, they’ve mastered finesse pitching (Dickey more so) which is rare in MLB and therefore incredibly effective, especially against young or aggressive lineups.

    While I think facing the Cards in the NLCS would be more satisfying, I am equidistant between DC and Cincinnati, so if I really hate money and want an NLCS ticket on Stubhub, I get more options. Also, thank God these West Coast games are over.

  15. littleleo1

    Chad .. I’ve got tickets to game#4 too. I agree, I would not mind if that game was not played at all . Go Homer!

  16. joelie1274

    “–I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about this Reds postseason that’s different from 2010.”

    I’m sure you were just being subtle and understated. But I can put my finger on it: this Reds team is better than in 2010. Votto Philips and Cueto are now seasone vets. The bullpen is ridiculously good. Chapman now plays a crucial role. When Jay Bruce is hot (which happens with greater frequency this year), he’s about as good as Votto. No more Volquez (all due respect) as an ace, and instead we have Latos. Homer has grown up. We have young stars who are just beginning to play well (cozart Frazier heisey xpaul etc). And it’s possible that only Reds fan truly understand what Ryan Hannigan means to this team. Special indeed, and there will be more seasons like this.

  17. redsfanman

    If the Reds are deciding Brook Jacoby’s job based on a 5 game series, one way or the other, I’d be rather disappointed.

    When the Reds decide whether or not to extend Jacoby I think they’ll factor in the hitters’ performance in the postseason, which so far has been stellar. I doubt the Reds organization was as critical of his performance in the regular season as the fans were.

    Most of the hand wringing was based on Baker forgetting how many off days there were and implying they’d go with 3 starters—and Latos starting game 3.Once he remembered they needed a 4-man rotation, I think there was a preference, slightly, for Latos or Bailey to start game 2.I personally liked Bailey slightly over Arroyo, but not enough to be unhappy about it.They (were, until Cueto’s injury) all going to pitch exactly once anyways, and someone has to pitch at GABP.

    I still like Bailey as the #3 starter and Arroyo as the #4 starter in the NLCS, if the Reds make it, and if Cueto is healthy of course.

    Dusty Baker never said he would go with three starters, he said that usually teams use three starters but that he hadn’t made up his mind and that they’d decide when they knew where (SF, Atlanta, St Louis) they were going. Many people interpreted that however they want, and assumed that he would make whatever they believed to be the worst possible decision. Well, before game one he made up his mind and wrote Bailey into the 4th rotation spot, which later had to be revised. Similarly Lincecum was going to start on Tuesday until pitching in yesterday’s game.

    I’m fine with whatever order Dusty and Price choose for the NLCS. If Arroyo pitches game 2 again, fine. If it’s Cueto followed by Latos, fine. If Cueto starts NLCS game 4, fine.

    Game 3 will be the biggest start of Homer’s career, no doubt.A win would not only secure the series victory, but save the Reds from having to make an uncomfortable choice between Latos and Cueto for game 4.A win would also allow us to line those two up for 2 starts each in the NLCS.How huge would that be?

    In retrospect probably not as huge as his no-hitter. I think Bailey now faces a lot of pressure as fans expect him to clinch the NLDS while repeating his no-hitter and outperforming the (supposedly) less-talented Bronson Arroyo. If Homer Bailey gives up a run he probably immediately becomes the most disappointing Reds pitcher of the series.

    Also, re: Dusty isn’t making mistakes:

    Last night I thought for sure bringing Bronson back in for the 7th was going to be a mistake. There was a lot going on and I didn’t know his pitch count was so low, but I was getting uncomfortable.

    But who would have thought we’d see Dusty making such UNCONVENTIONAL decisions? Bringing Latos in to game 1 is the last thing I would have ever expected from Dusty. Except maybe pinch hitting Homer Bailey. One worked out and one didn’t, but where did these moves actually come from?!

    People always question Bronson Arroyo but he’s always been willing to remove himself from games if he’s not feeling his best (or for that matter a willingness to stay in and get beat up to eat innings). I was somewhat disappointed to see him removed so early… but whateva. Postseason games are managed differently.

    Using Latos and pinch hitting with Bailey in game one, I think both moves showed a need to keep the team in the game without using late inning guys too early. It’s something they can afford to do in the postseason with off days and we haven’t been able to see Dusty manage many postseason games.

    I wouldn’t say that Bailey didn’t work out – he didn’t get the bunt down but he kept Xavier Paul available to get a big hit later. Similarly Latos let Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman be important later in the game. It’s not a race to get the best pinch hitters (in this case Paul, Frazier, and Navarro) and pitchers into the game.

  18. redsfanman

    I’m still not sure Dusty intends to pitch Cueto/Latos 1-2. He might still go with Cueto-Arroyo-Latos-Homer. This means, if the series goes 7, Cueto and Latos would still get to pitch twice and so would Arroyo. Again, if you don’t buy what Cal Ripkin was saying, I think Dusty is right to break up pitching styles by putting Arroyo #2.

    I’m not sure if Dusty is able to have any plan at the moment for the NLCS rotation, and I think it would be wrong of him to propose anything. We still don’t know if Cueto will be back, if the Reds will play an NLDS game 4, or if the NLCS will be against the Cardinals (who have a history of beating up Mat Latos) or Nationals.

    If the NLCS goes 7 games I want Mat Latos facing the Nationals twice, but I’m not so sure about sending him out twice against the Cardinals. I think Arroyo would be more successful against the aggressive young hitters of the Nationals than the guys on the Cardinals. If all goes perfectly I’d go back to the Cueto-Arroyo-Latos-Bailey rotation against the Cardinals. I’m fine with whatever Dusty and Bryan Price decide.

  19. EmoMorales

    @renbutler: I share the same sentiments about TBS lack of any scheduling communication. The only clue I have relied on so far is that the TBS schedule for Wednesday has 6pm and 9:30pm listed as “MLB Division Series.” If the Detroit/Oakland series is still happening, I would assume that it would be the 9:30pm game.

  20. redsfanman

    @eric nyc: I think the Nationals have better pitching but the Cardinals have much better hitters, and the Cardinals team is loaded with veterans who know what they’re doing. One is a respectable and dangerous contender that expects to win (like the 2010 Phillies), the other is a bunch of young guys trying to get their feet wet in postseason play (like the 2010 Reds).

    If anybody expects Bronson Arroyo to be important in the NLCS I think the Nationals play a lot better into his skill set for helping aggressive hitters to get themselves out. Mat Latos pitched well in his final start against the Cardinals but got beat up by them a few times in the past.

    As far as being more familiar with the Cardinals than the Nationals, it works the other way around – the Cardinals have seen the Reds pitchers and hitters a lot also. The Reds have now had a lot of success against the Giants this season, who they rarely face, likely due to good advanced scouting. Hopefully the advanced scouting can similarly help the Reds with the Nationals.

    @redsfanman: Yeah, I think most fans expect a repeat of a no hitter.That’s the measuring stick for Homer Bailey tomorrow.

    If he gives up ONE run, he’s a villain.Yep.


    I think the Reds fans have really high expectations for Homer Bailey and it will be a high-pressure game. Pressure for him to live up to (or surpass) the performance of Latos (albeit not a starter) and Arroyo will be huge. If he gives up 2 runs arguably Bailey underperformed.

    When Bailey first joined the Reds he saw the silly ‘He’s Here’ billboards (with his photo) on the highway and heard how he was the can’t-miss ace and savior of this pitching staff. Now, NLDS Game 3, you previously pitched a no-hitter this season, your team has so far shut down the Giants’ offense, and Bronson Arroyo pitched like an ace – no pressure, right? This is yet another time where fans are placing really high expectations for Bailey to live up to him, and in previous cases public opinion has been known to turn against him pretty quickly.

  21. doctor


    quote: “Hard to believe that only one Giants player hit more than 12 homers this year (Posey with 24).

    Yeah, they play alot of their games at AT&T and Petco, but that still bodes well for the games at GABP.” endquote

    Don’t discount Giants hitters. The Giants had the best Road offense in the NL, so they can hit. Giants hit 72 of 103 team HR on the road(Cincy had 69 road HR). and don’t forget Pence had a combined 24 HR with phils/giants.

    Giants Away: 410R, .271/.327/.415
    Reds Home: 352R, .256/.325/.436

    Bailey will need to be on his game to keep Giants in check, which he can do. Go Reds!!!!!

  22. Eric the Red

    The fourth inning last night was key. Does anyone know the last time we scored three runs on four singles? Overall, the at-bats have been great. Even Stubbs has looked like a completely different player.

  23. Eric the Red

    Yes, Rolen’s hit was key (as was Pence missing the cutoff man. One of those little things that don’t show up in the box score.) I meant my question literally: anyone know the last time we scored multiple runs by stringing together singles like that? It seems the only way we’ve scored recently is with a HR or with the other team helping with errors/walks.

  24. rfay00

    If the Reds carry this over to tomorrow night, the Giants should just pack up and go.

    The crowd will be electric and we will have our big guns in the bullpen on two day rest. Isn’t it nice to know that Bailey should only have to go 6 innings with the lead?

  25. redsfanman

    I’ll predict this: if the Reds make the NLCS, Leake is in and Simon is out.

    I can’t see the Reds not backing themselves up in case Cueto has a reocurrence, even if Cueto is completely healthy and say pitches great in game 4.

    If they expect Cueto to have a reocurrence of the back problem I think they’d put him on the DL (which includes the NLCS). If he says he’s going to be okay I don’t necessarily see a need to make a move for a contingency plan – in LeCure and Simon they’re already carrying two long relievers… and Hoover has pitched 2 innings several times.

    @Hank Aarons Teammate: You think Simon is out over Arredondo? My gut says take Arredondo out.

    I agree that Arredondo should be the first person removed from the pitching staff. He is the least consistent or predictable pitcher and a guy who rarely gets asked to pitch more than an inning, and the whole point of adding Leake is to add an inning eater. I don’t see how replacing Simon with Leake helps.

    How has Arredondo been used this year? Like with Logan Ondrusek I think the role has changed, except Ondrusek got demoted to AAA. Arredondo didn’t get demoted but I think he’s just as deserving of a demotion. Maybe he’s been switched to a lefty specialist but I tend to expect him to walk everyone he faces – I don’t know why opponents swing. Yesterday they used Arredondo in a blowout and brought him in with the scrubs (Heisey, Cairo, Valdez, Frazier) – although he didn’t give up any runs, he didn’t impress anybody or generate any confidence. Being able to make a game with a 9 run lead interesting isn’t exactly good. Again, I think he’s the top candidate to be sent out.

    Hank’s teammate: From shots of the dugout, you could see Bronson was going back out there in the 8th, then the plan was changed when the Reds scored 5 runs. The TBS guys were right this time I think when they said it wasn’t just the larger lead, it was a long inning and it was tough for Bronson to stay warm. You could see Bronson trying to keep his arms warm in the dugout, and at one point Dusty spoke with him and he gave it up.

    I thought that was funny – Arroyo wasn’t removed because he was struggling or a high pitch count but because the team was too far ahead and had taken too much time in a big productive inning – gotta give other guys a chance to pitch.

  26. Redsfanx

    We really got the good Bronson last night. It looks to me like a Reds-Tigers world series coming up; a redo of the 1940 series. Those announcers on MLB.com were obviously Giant fans and as the game progressed they became more crestfallen. The Reds are in win-mode.

  27. CSharpAJ

    10/8/2012 at 3:14 pm

    I can’t see them adding double headers either. I wish they’d shorted the season to 154 or, better yet, go back to two divisions and eliminate the wild card**. But, I know, neither will EVER happen.

    **Yes, I know. This sounds like an old fogey statement. But, I miss the days where the best of the best made the playoffs; the 162 game slog had a lot more meaning (as it should; baseball requires that to separate wheat from chaff); you could have great (and meaningful) pennant races between two legitimately great teams where the losing team didn’t make the playoffs; and the playoffs were doing in a timely manner.

    I agree. I’m not old (only 29 going on 30 in a few months), but it’s absolutely ridiculous what the game has become. The Cardinals have got to be the absolute luckiest team on the face of the planet. They wouldn’t even be sniffing the playoffs if it weren’t for the new format and then on top of that they go forward because of Atlanta’s defensive collapse in a single game.

    I admit that I’m probably a little more upset about the whole situation because I live in St. Louis and have to deal with the fans, but that doesn’t make the complaint any less valid. If you are going to have 2 wild card teams, shorten the season and have the 2 wild card teams play a 3 game series or something, but a single elimination game?

  28. SGT Ethan

    I love the single elimination game – huge, in fact OUTRAGEOUS penalty for not winning your division. You only have four other teams to beat, fer criminey’s sake! (Well, or three, or five…) If you can’t do that, you’d better be ready to bring it, and then turn around and face the best team in your league…

  29. SGT Ethan

    Maybe they should make it that a wildcard never gets to play at home. “I’m sorry, homefields are for winners only.”

    Ha! Brilliance!

  30. Eric the Red

    And yet, headlines would look something like: “Yankees drop WS” or “Harper and Nationals Going Home”

    Sad, but very very true.

  31. redsfanman

    I love the single elimination game – huge, in fact OUTRAGEOUS penalty for not winning your division.You only have four other teams to beat, fer criminey’s sake!(Well, or three, or five…)If you can’t do that, you’d better be ready to bring it, and then turn around and face the best team in your league…

    I think a penalty is a good thing to call the Wild Card elimination game – it’s a risk you take for winning the Wild Card that doesn’t put you on equal footing with the first place teams. Finish in first place and you’re safe, win the Wild Card and your season can end in one day. It forces teams like Atlanta to keep fighting for first place.

    Given how we can rap it up on Tuesday night and have a pretty rested bullpen, how short of a leash will/should Homer have in the game?

    I think Homer Bailey will have a very short leash – Latos and Arroyo were both pulled relatively quickly, as were Cain, Bumgarner, and Lincecum (albeit under a wide variety of different circumstances). If the Reds win in game 3 they have several days off to rest the bullpen so everybody should be available.

    The Reds really could use one more lefty specialist.As in, an actual lefty.If they were to play the Nats, they have Harper and LaRoche.Against the Giants it is not as critical.It’s not a huge deal, just would be nice.

    I’m not sure how helpful another lefty would be – Adam LaRoche is hitting .268 against LHPs and .273 against RHPs, almost the same. Bringing in a lefty to face him sounds good but it doesn’t necessarily help. Bryce Harper is a little more susceptible, hitting .240 against LHPs and .286 against RHPs. Harper and LaRoche hit 2nd and 4th in the Nationals’ order but do the Reds really need an extra pitcher just to face to them? Should Tony Cingrani get a bullpen spot just to face Harper?

    I think Marshall and Chapman can handle them.

    Harper hits second and LaRoche 4th. Against the Nationals I assume Marshall will be used in late innings when the 2 through 4 spots are up while Chapman pitches the 9th.

  32. UDRedsFan

    Did anyone see that the game last night got a .9 rating?

    • SGT Ethan

      Did anyone see that the game last night got a .9 rating?

      Er…help me out – is that good? Or bad? I don’t know what a .9 means…

  33. BenL

    I don’t like that the game is starting to early, but imagine how the SF fans feel. At least many Reds fans can be home from work in time to see the end of the game.