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NL DIVISION SERIES: Veteran Phillies close out Reds, 2-0; move to NLCS vs. Giants

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

CINCINNATI, OHIO –

(megasportsnews.com)

The young Cincinnati Reds  team, got a lesson in playoff baseball. It’s pitching, defense and clutch hitting.

The Reds pitching was good enough to win Games 2 & 3, but all components have to work in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Phillies eliminated the Reds, 3 games to 0.

A pitcher the Reds never beat, lefty Cole Hamels, pitched a complete game shutout, with 9 strikeouts, allowing five hits.

Great American Ball Park hosting its first playoff game ever, set a record for attendance, 44,599.

Cincinnati really had just one chance to score in the game against Hamels. Drew Stubbs led off the first inning with an infield single, and Brandon Phillips came up next and hit a line drive to left-centerfield. Speedy center fielder Shane Victorino ran the ball down in the gap. If he misses that ball, it’s at least a triple or even an inside-the-park home run with Phillips’ speed.

Media interview room backdrop (megasportsnews.com)

The Phillies scored in the first inning against Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who was victimized by shoddy defense. With one out, Placido Polanco singled to center, Ryan Howard singled to left and with two down Jayson Werth hit an easy third-out grounder to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who threw high to first base, pulling Joey Votto off the bag scoring Polanco to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

Two topics of conversation was brought up in the pressbox at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati after that play. One, the Reds were in trouble because they have trouble scoring against Cole Hamels all the time and second of all, why was Orlando Cabrera playing shortstop with a right oblique problem. Backup shortstop Paul Janish was in the starting lineup on the game sheets but somehow Cabrera talked himself into the lineup. Bad choice.

Reds banner outside stadium (megasportsnews.com)

The final run came in the top of the fifth inning when Phillies second baseman Chase Utley homered to right-center field into the first row of seats to make it 2-0. The play was reviewed by the umpires because a fan had reached out and caught the ball as Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs was making a play on the ball. The umpires deemed it a homer and not a ground rule double. The delay lasted for 1 minute, 13 seconds.

That was Utley’s 10th playoff series home run of all-time, which moves him past Jayson Werth for first on the Phillies list.

The Reds were making their first playoff appearance in 15 years and finished the regular season as the National League’s Number 1 offense and Number 2 defensive team. During the playoffs, they committed 8 errors, 6 in the last two games which simply killed them.

The National League Central Division, which the Reds were the champions of in 2010, has not done well in the playoffs losing 15 of their last 16 games.

The Philadelphia Phillies will be seeking their third straight NL Pennant when they face the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.

GAME NOTES:

* The Phillies are 10-2 all-time in clinching games (games in which the series ends with a Phillies win). The Phillies have won their last 6.

* Philadelphia is 4-0 on the road in the postseason when Cole Hamels pitches (4-3 at home).

* Cole Hamels joins Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling as the only 3 pitchers to throw a shutout in the Phillies postseason history.

* This was the first ever postseason series sweep in Phillies franchise history.

* In Cincinnati Reds postseason history, they have been swept 4 times, 1939 World Series vs. the Yankees; 1979 NLCS vs. the Pirates; 1995 NLCS vs. the Braves and now the 2010 NLDS vs. the Phillies.

POSTGAME AUDIO FROM CINCINNATI REDS CLUBHOUSE (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

45 718 to 45 722 Drew Stubbs Reds RF On the Phillies being tough (WPKO WBLL )

45 730 TO 45 732 Walt Jocketty Reds GM On Reds played hard (WPKO WBLL)

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