Philadelphia Phillies Prove Too Much for Reds, Complete NLDS Sweep

October 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

When Philadelphia Phillies’ LHP Cole Hamels took the mound in the 2009 postseason, he looked like a guy that had lost all confidence in himself. Hamels took the mound last night against the Cincinnati Reds the complete opposite of that guy in 2009.

Hamels pitched a complete game shutout against the Reds as the Phillies won 2-0 to sweep the Reds 3-0 in their best-of-five NLDS. This is the third straight year that the Phillies will advance to the NLCS.


Hamels in this game was just flat out awesome! There is no other way to describe it. His fastball was popping (average of 92 and high of 95) and his change-up was lethal.

Hamels threw his change-up 33 times last night and 26 of them were thrown for strikes. Impressive. What might have been more impressive was that Red hitters swung and missed at 36 percent of those change-ups.

That a look at his strike zone plot on change-ups via Pitchfx

The change-ups are in yellow. As he can see, he pounded the lower half of the zone with those change-ups. Very rarely did he miss up in the zone and that’s when a pitcher can get hurt.

Hamels overall struck out nine, didn’t walk a batter, and gave up just five hits in the 119 pitch effort. Hamels is now 6-3 in his postseason career. He is the second pitcher to win six postseason games before turning 27 years old. The other is Jim Palmer.

Here are some other observations from this game…

The biggest play of this game might have occurred in the bottom of the first. After Drew Stubbs led off the game with a single, Brandon Phillips hit a rare mistake from Hamels into the left center field gap that Shane Victorino ran down for the first out.

If that ball gets by Victorino, the game is tied at one and Phillips is standing on third with nobody out.

Johnny Cueto was very good in this game and will be overshadowed by Hamels’ performance. After a rocky first, he settled down and pitched five very solid innings. The only reason he didn’t pitch deeper into the game was because with the Reds desperate for offense, he was pinch-hit for in the fifth.

Note to Dusty Baker: If you are going to pinch-hit for your pitcher, can someone other than Miguel Cairo do it? He’s an automatic out.

Homer Bailey was very good for two innings. I thought he was going to give the Reds a Sid Fernandez-like Game 7 of the 1986 World Series performance to keep his team in the game and spark the team offensively, but it just never happened.

Quick 2011 prediction: Bailey wins 15 plus games for the Reds next year.

If the Phillies are going to beat either the Braves or Giants in the next round, Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins are going to have to wake up. Combined they hit .129 in the three games with no extra base hits.

Scott Rolen might have played his worst three-game stretch defensively ever. Outside one or two plays, he looked terrible all series.

Reds fans chanting “Cheat-er, cheat-er” when Chase Utley came to the plate was fantastic.

Though I am sure they didn’t think it was so great when he launched one to right center to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

Regardless if the Braves and Giants series closes out Monday night or Wednesday, Game 1 of the NLCS will start Saturday in Philadelphia.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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