Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
National League Division Series, Game Two
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:
Nights like this remind me why Bronson Arroyo is my favorite Red.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) October 8, 2012
Hahaha! I just got this from a Red Sox friend: “All we got was Wily Mo Pena?”
— Angela (@The26thMan) October 8, 2012
Always nice to see when an underrated player like Ryan Hanigan does well in the playoffs. #Reds
— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 8, 2012
Never seen a team as well-prepared, scouting-wise. #Reds
— Chris Garber (@cgarber8) October 8, 2012
The defensive positioning by the #Reds has been remarkable.
— Chris Wilson (@CoachWilson17) October 8, 2012
Can we take a moment to note that the Reds waltzed into San Fran, lost their ace in the 1st inning of game one, and still punked the Giants?
— Grey (@spacemnkymafia) October 8, 2012
Dusty Baker hasn’t made a single bad decision in the postseason. #yepijustsaidthat
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) October 8, 2012
–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.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.