Reds fail in the clutch
- Updated: October 23, 2012
The Reds had not lost three games in a row at home during the regular season, but that became the case in the postseason. After winning the first two games on the road in San Francisco, they lost the next three in Cincinnati which resulted in their elimination. In game 1, Mat Latos came into pitch for the injured Johnny Cueto and pitched very well to get the win. In game 2, Bronson Arroyo went seven innings allowing one hit and striking out four, leading to a 9-0 win.
After winning games 1 and 2, it would seem that they had an easy sweep to the National League Championship Series, but the Giants won the next three games to win the best-of-five series making them the first team to lose two at home and then win the next three on the road in a divisional series.
Many factors are responsible for the Reds’ collapse, such as the inability to drive in runners in scoring position. In fact, the Reds were 9-for-41 with runners in scoring position and left 39 runners on base in the series. The starting pitching fell apart in the last two games, allowing a combined 12 runs.
While the stats tell the story, some fans believe that the reason the Reds failed is because of the questionable decision-making by manager Dusty Baker, saying that he’s never had a team go anywhere in the postseason. These fans must have overlooked his managerial career. Since he started managing in 1993, his teams average second or third place, he has been to the World Series with the Giants in 2002, and won three Manager of the Year awards.
On that note, the Reds recently extended Baker’s contract for two more years. It could have been a four- or five-year contract extension, but his health concerns most likely played a part in the shorter contract.
Whether fans like it or not, he is the manager for the next two years.
Either way, you dissect the divisional series, if all it took was an inspirational speech by Hunter Pence, then that must mean the Reds are soft or don’t have a motivator on the team. The core of guys who return next year should be fired up to play hard all season long with the way their season ended.