Welcome Back: Phillies Sweep Reds to Reach NLCS – Phillies Nation
2010 Game Recaps

Welcome Back: Phillies Sweep Reds to Reach NLCS

It never gets old, does it? The Philadelphia Phillies swept the Cincinnati Reds to reach their third consecutive National League Championship Series.

Cole Hamels made sure the fun would continue for the Phillies faithful, throwing a complete game shutout in the 2-0 series-clinching victory. Hamels was absolutely brilliant, going the distance  119 pitches (82 strikes) while striking out nine Reds without a walk. He changed speeds beautifully all evening, overmatching the Cincinnati order with his mid-90’s fastball, a curveball that was nasty, and a changeup that fooled everyone at Great American Ballpark.

The offense struck early, capitalizing on another defensive miscue by the Reds in the first inning. Placido Polanco scored on a throwing error by shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who earlier in the day was thought to be out of the lineup with an oblique injury. His errant throw, along with Scott Rolen’s bobble in the sixth inning, were the sixth and seventh errors of the series for the Reds, respectively (or disrespectively?).

It was quite an unpleasant series for what was the best defense in the National League during the regular season. Perhaps the postseason jitters were real for this team that somewhat resembles the 2007 version of this Phillies team: young, wet behind the ears, and a overmatched in their first dance in October.

In the fifth inning, Chase Utley hit the first home run of the series for the Phillies – as a team they hit 25 home runs in the 2009 playoffs – to give the Phils a 2-0 lead. The homer wasn’t without controversy. A Reds fan appeared to slightly interfere with centerfield Drew Stubbs, who looked to possibly have a play on the ball. The umpires used instant replay to be sure, and the play was upheld. No red flags were thrown, although white flags should have been waved.

All night, Hamels was completely in control, harkening back to the good old days of 2008. At this point, he may be even better. His fastball had life, his breaking pitches were untraceable. This top three of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels is just downright scary and the Cincinnati Reds saw that firsthand.

What is slightly worrisome is the Phillies inability to sustain anything with the sticks. In the quick three-game set, the Phils scored 13 runs, six of which were unearned. Basically, the Reds were undone by their breakdowns defensively. And while the Phillies took advantage of those opportunities, they still haven’t been able to use this killer offense to their advantage.

It’s now a long week off as the NLCS begins on Saturday. The opponent is unknown, and won’t be until at least tomorrow night when the Giants and Braves play Game 4 of their series from Atlanta.

What we do know is that we’ll see Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels in some way, shape, or form beginning next weekend at Citizens Bank Park. The wait will be a lengthy one, but for now, enjoy this dynamic and possibly dynastic team.



  1. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 1:17 am

    big win

    Cole is so changed. And to think I wanted to run him off after last year.
    He is maybe my favorite player now. The votto double play!
    Votto is the best in the game bar none. I was told over and over.
    And Victorinos catch. Yea to think Ive had arguements here with people saying he wasnt that good deensively.
    Got a week off.

    Phillies nation check out the Brooks Conrad post game interview.
    Lets pull for him in game 4. How can you not wish the guy well?
    Go Braves. Go Brooks Conrad.

  2. rob5000

    October 11, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Hamels was touching 96… Didn’t know he had it in him. Really excited for the NLCS. Let’s get this offense goin. Everybody Hits! Wahoooo!

  3. Dan

    October 11, 2010 at 2:20 am

  4. Bart Shart

    October 11, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Let’s hope the Phils’ bats are ready, willing and able for the next series. I hope there is not too much time before we play again. At least it will give the players time to overcome injuries and dings of various assortment, especially with Rollins, Polanco and Ruiz — all key components to the Phightens’ success. Starting pitchers will hopefully get some needed rest, as well. Great victory and dazzling performance by Cole Hamels. GO PHILS !!!

  5. bfo_33

    October 11, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Next series starts Sat. in Phila. The time off benefits the Phils. Halladay and Hamels both pitch better on longer rest. Like his first start against Wash, I think Oswalt had out of control adrenaline – expect a much better start next time out. Since none of the hitters are hot anyway, won’t cool down, and both Rollins and PP can use the rest.

    While I know anything can happen, I think we just beat the toughest competition in the NL.

  6. The Original Chuck P

    October 11, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I’ve said since day one that I believe this team wants to do more than win a championship… they want to solidify their legacy. I think that they looked at this thing and said, “How do we leave an impression on the game as the greatest NL team ever assembled?” The answer, of course… win every game of every series… 3-4-4… you guys might have thought that I was crazy and a homer but if there’s one thing that I know it’s that this team doesn’t settle and they do their best when all odds are against them. How do you get them to play their best baseball? Set the bar as high as it can be and let them think about how hard they would have to play to get there. I think that’s what we’re seeing… a team that is trying to do the improbable.

  7. Brooks

    October 11, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I am thinking along the same lines as Pat said – I think this is the best that I’ve seen Cole throw in his 3 years. That includes the 15 k performance April of 2007, in Cincy.
    And we have not seen the bats yet. Whoever faces the Phils in round 2 I’m sure is already giving thought – “How in the world do we make it past these guys?”
    We are not the only ones who notice the Phils silent bats –

  8. NickFromGermantown

    October 11, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I would not worry too much about the Phillies’ bats. If there is something to worry about, I would worry about the lack of power. Whatever gets the job done though, I think that’s the most important thing right now.


  9. Brooks

    October 11, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I dont know if everyone has seen this site – sorry for not being able to post this link – just cut and paste into your browser. Funny stuff I ran into 2 years ago.


  10. The Original Chuck P

    October 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Cueto always gives us fits… it wasn’t a shock that we didn’t put up a ton of runs but we kept the pressure on him all night. We collected 8 hits… same number of hits we had in game 2. We played opportunistic baseball and capitalized on mistakes.

  11. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I would think that Cole may have pitched his way into the #2 spot for the NLCS. I guess Charlie and Dubee will wait and see who the opponent is and then make a decision.

    I also think that Oswalt’s performance was a blip on the screen. He’s too good not to bounce back in his next start.

    Was there an MVP for this series? Officially? I guess Halladay would get it….but a STRONG case could be made for Victorino. Game 1 offensive igniter….and possible GAME-CHANGING catch last night in the first. That ball goes to the wall….the runner scores….and there’s probably a man on 3rd and nobody out. Could have resulted in a completely different game dynamic.


    October 11, 2010 at 11:51 am


  13. Brooks

    October 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    45. Cole Hamels could work for PSE&G because he always puts opposing batters’ lights out.

    60. Compared to Cole Hamels, opposing pitchers are so crappy that they give Pepto Bismol the runs.

    80. Cole Hamels is the real last son of Krypton.

  14. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    We’ve had wonderful pitching and defense, but hitting is a bit of a concern. I’m not too worried about it, but the link shows where we stand in postseason team hitting.

    If we play the Braves, this will all change rapidly. But if we face the Giants, I don’t see it getting a lot better. The great thing is we may not need it to.


  15. Manny

    October 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I guess my new link worked alright…

  16. Mazinman

    October 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I hear you when it comes to Brooks Conrad, Andrew. I got a huge laugh out of it when he made that error in the 9th but that interview after the game was pretty heart breaking. I definitely want the Braves to win tonight to force a game 5 and it would be nice if Conrad could hit a game winning home run or something to get some relief from the pain he must be going through right about now.

    On more a positive note, the Phillies pitching was great this series. The Reds had the most potent offense in the NL this year so you have to figure that neither the Braves or Giants will be crossing the plate much. You also know that Oswalt is itching to get back on the mound to show how good he can be after being the only one of H20 to not dominate the Reds.

    I feel another sweep next round. The Phillies are just playing at another level than any other NL team right now.

  17. betasigmadeltashag

    October 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I said it before, the lay off seems to hurt the offense of this team, not so much the pitching. I am torn how the rotation should be set up, it the series goes 7 games the game 3 starter would pitch game seven. Because I do not see Charlie sending out on short rest, even though all three of the big three has had a good amount of rest since they clinched the division. So I would expect to see Big Joe pitch game four. unless it is a must win game then maybe Charlie would pitch Doc on short rest. If they make it passed the Giants or Braves, quickly, maybe in the WS there may be short rest.
    But for now nice sweep great game by Cole. Just want the Giants/Braves to go five

  18. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm


    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  20. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Ooooh! – djeller1139 that is just plain mean….
    and quite funny as well.


  21. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Chuck, I think I like the Sonny Liston one the best.

  22. Manny

    October 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Those are awesome, Chuck!

    People say that this is the Cole of 2008… No. This is the Cole of 2010; the much better, improved, matured, Cole of 2010.


    October 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Carlos Ruiz hit a record fastball last night in Game 3 of the NLDS: http://bit.ly/c9F5Pj

  24. Desibrave

    October 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Friends, First of a “A BIG CONGRATS” on 3rd NLCS trip.., Phillies rock, unbelievable pitching.. , Great job

    Coming down to Braves, Can’t complain anything about this team, They are playing their butts off with the limited resources they have on hand. I was at the game last night and imagine the plight of that guy 54,000+ fans booing at him., I felt so sad for that guy.. Braves are here for his heroics, his grandslam homer in the 9th inning against reds that braves won , and several other clutch performances., but that dude is suffering right now,, can’t focus on the game, worried too much about his fielding and making more errors.. But good thing is that the entire team is backing him up and cheering him up,

    BTW Here is the ever growing list of Braves starters resulted in season ending injuries
    1) Chipper Jones (most experienced braves player was hitting .350 in last 3 weeks before he got hurt)
    2) Kris medlen Starting Pitcher (10-1 record before got injured)
    3) Jair Jurgens Starting Pitcher
    4) Martin Prado (ALL star and Braves MVP this year)
    5) Bill Wagner (Closer)
    6) Eric O flahrety (One of the best setup guys with negligible ERA)
    7) Troy Glaus (Can’t field anymore, sore knees went on DL, had 40RBIs in May)
    8) Lost Heyward for a good 1 month

    But good that none of the braves team members want to use that as an excuse., Tim Hudson saying they need no excuses and will be fighting till the end.

  25. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Hamels hit him….for an out….but still hit him.

    And Raul…had he elevated the ball he hit off Chapman….it might STILL be in orbit.

    For some reason….I’m really not all that impressed by Chapman….yet…

  26. biz

    October 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I like the layoff. We haven’t been hitting much and I’m thinking the bats may wake up with a week off. Can’t do much worse.

    San Frans pitching scares me somewhat. I’ll take our lineup over theirs, but we can’t be cold for this series. Not at all.

  27. Bob in Bucks

    October 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Either way we want a game five for the Braves. Personally I think the Braves are easier than the Giants but a fifth game will means that Lincecum cannot pitch until Game 3 of the NLCS.

    On Conrad – it was always well known that the guy could not field. It is the primary reason he was stuck in the minors all those years. He can hit but he cannot field and sustained play shows that. Unfortunately he is not that super a hitter that someone in the AL will make him a DH.

    I actually feel sorry for the Braves. Significant injuries makes this playoff run almost impossible. The loss of Prado, Jurgens and Wagner means a sad ending. Just win Game 4 and take Lincecum out of the NLCS – please.

  28. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I said it last night, Chapman – and all other four seam fireballers will not beat major league hitters after they see them a couple times.

    Cole is so much more effective this year because of the cutter, and the larger difference in his four seamer and changeup. Doc almost never throws a four seamer, they all dance in and out.

    Chapman, Broxton, Street, none of them will ever be special unless they learn to throw two seam fastballs. Sometimes these young “meats” learn, and sometimes they don’t. We’ll see with Chaoman. BTW- Strasburg, if he ever comes back, already has the cutter and hard slider.

  29. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Not to knock Cole by saying this, he is not expected to hit. But I agree that if he can put lumber to Chapman’s FB, it’s just not that great.

    The media is in love with the 100 MPH FB, so they sensationalize it.

  30. The Original Chuck P

    October 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Chapman will be just fine. He’s got really good control and a 103 MPH fastball that looks almost effortless. He’s also got a secondary pitch that comes in at 87-90 which is devastating.

    In game 2, he looked like he was in cruise control until his defense fell apart… he “hits” Chase, strikes out Howard, then induces a groundball to third base which Rolen misplays and thenfrom that point on, he wasn’t nearly as sharp. Rollins is able to plate two on a Jay Bruce error and Ibanez hits one to right field but all told, the kid still hasn’t let up an earned run in postseason play. I would take him in a heart beat.

  31. mikemike

    October 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Now lefty that was funny., you were trying to be funny? you not seious if cole hit a weak fly ball, the guy is nothing. that would be too stupid

  32. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Chapman may have good control…but I didn’t really consistently see it this series. And just the fact that so many guys were able to get good wood on the ball….a ball coming in at 100-103 mph…..that doesn’t really do much to impress me.

    He ‘s got “raw” talent….and certainly is promising. Maybe in a year or two he will REALLY be effective.

  33. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    @mikemike- Well, I’m so glad I could provide such great amusement for you… Levity was not my goal, the post was merely an add-on to the previous post which I guess was a bit too long and intricate for you. I added it because I “agreed” (if you are capable of re-reading the post you’ll note the word “agree”) with another post earlier at 3:02. But you probably didn’t read that either, maybe because it didn’t amuse you, or maybe you have some sort of attention deficit disorder. I suspect the latter.

  34. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    The media sucks.
    They are so wrong about the Phillies and thier players that it renders all thier points moot. I simply dont listen to any of them anymore. They are talking heads. Wish the old man would have beat up Eskin though. That guy is a total waste of sperm-egg hatch. Lower than trolls like Bravoman.

    I suppose Mccarver and his half wit pal will be telling us all how CBP is a bandbox.

    I will only say this for the millionth time (but they never will). Ryan Howard has played his whole career in that park. He has more career road homers than home. If it was a band box wouldnt that be impossible.

    Someone like lefty here on this blog blows away all the media and most of the ex jocks.

    The Chapman coverage the last series was a disgrace. By the way he took the loss in game 2.

  35. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    OCP – I agree his secondary pitch is quite good. My point was that his primary pitch is a one dimensional fastball. A guy with that much talent should be using two-seamers that sink, or cutters otherwise MLB hitters will figure him out quickly and will hit him easily. Some guys- ala the aforementioned Broxton never seem to learn. I hope Chapman does learn, it’s in the best interests game.

  36. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm


    I think I have agreed with something that mikemike has posted like MAYBE once in the past two years or so.

    Just food for thought…

  37. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Brooks Conrad out of the line up tonight.


    October 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm


  39. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Ouch – I hope Conrad gets a chance to redeem himself.

    JPB- If he has a change I didn’t see it. I know the kid has talent, I’m just sayin there’s a lot of young guys out there with talent, I hope the kid does well, I really do.

  40. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Andrew and Chuck- Thanks

    Oh no- what a frightening thought, McCarver and Buck- Instant Vomit inducers. Buck the monotone man who makes me think I’m watching a golf tournament, and McCarver with his nauseating interminable analysis.

  41. Chuck

    October 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I LOATHE Tim McCarver. LOATHE.

  42. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I loathe Mccarver too.

    Its almost unimaginable how bad he is.
    I was watching a replay of one of the 2000 WS games and there he was.
    How can he have his job and keep it?

    If you took my 100 other most hated broadcasters and put them all together I dont dislike them 1 millionth as much as I dislike mccarver.

    Literaly during the last series with those dreadful announcers. I was just enjoying them because I know fox has the NLCS and WS.

    Mike Emerick in hockey is really bad too. But i can have him on and watch the game. Its getting very close with mccarver. Where I wont be able to have him on. That the phillies should win both series is a saving grace.

  43. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Give me Gary Thorne or Sam Rosen any day over Emerick. Benanati is okay too, but only on national games when he’s not puking all over himself about Ovechkin.

    Back to baseball- Jack Buck was so much better than his son. Joe just brings nothing as far as I can tell.

    The shame about McCarver is that he really was a pretty darn good catcher.

  44. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Steny Hoyer is on my phone right now doing a live telephone town hall meeting. It’s an interesting tactic- free media for voters to listen to him. I might even ask a question.

  45. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Are you in Md district 5?


  46. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I loathe Steny more than Mccarver.
    Good job

  47. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Yes I moved to Laurel this summer from Columbia. Too expensive to live in Howard County. When my wife was growing up in lower PG she used to live right across the street from him, she hates him too.

  48. Lefty

    October 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I like Lollar, voting for Ehrlich too. Grew up in a dem. family, but as I get older, my politcal attitude does as well. But that’s for another forum I guess.

  49. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Wow we are practicly neighbors.

    Come on Braveless score a run at least.

  50. Al

    October 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Lowe with no hits and no walks through 4.

  51. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    there go the BRaves

    prepare for Timmy Van Helsing and Pat the Bat

    its an epic series

  52. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    and this matters
    Game 1 is timmy and Doc
    the 2 BESt in the game

  53. Manny

    October 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Brrrrrrrrrrrrinnnng it, Giants. Brrrrrrring it.


    October 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Looks like we get to FEAST ON A S.F. TREAT!!!!!!!!!!!


    October 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm



    October 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm



    October 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Try again: here’s a breakdown of the Giants, who the Phils will face in the NLCS: http://bit.ly/9CHPIK

  58. jeff

    October 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    My prediction. Giants will beat the Phillies 4-2.

    I love Doc but the Freak is lose.

  59. Andrew from waldorf

    October 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    No Jay will play prime time

    This is a mraquee series.

    van Helsing neutralyzes big Roy some.
    I like Hamels and Oswalt more than Sanchez and Cain though.

    This is the toughest series the phils will face.

    If the phils arent hitting could be BRUTAL

    Brian Wilson is human though. Can get to him.
    I bet the phils pin at least 1 loss on him in this series.

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