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Philadelphia Phillies MLB News - Phillies Baseball Blog » Cincinnati Reds (91-71) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (97-65)

Cincinnati Reds (91-71) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (97-65)

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Wednesday 6 October 2010 at 4:06 pm

The Reds will be in the playoffs for the first time in quite a while but they have veterans like Orlando Cabrera, Ramon Hernandez and Scott Rolen who have a lot of post season experience. The Phillies however have won the N.L. Pennant the last two years in a row and they want to get back to the World Series to avenge their loss to the Yankees in 2009. Here is a breakdown of the positions in this series:

CATCHER: Ramon Hernandez is a veteran catcher with some power and he’s a solid defender behind the plate. He played in 97 games for the Reds this year and he was 93 of 313 (.297 avg, .792 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 7 homers and 48 RBIs. Hernandez has played in 22 games in his post season career and he is 15 of 69 (.217 avg, .589 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs.

Carlos Ruiz always seems to step up his game when they get big. But he really had a good regular season for the Phillies this year as he appeared in 121 games in which he was 112 of 371 (.302 avg, .847 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 8 homers and 53 RBIs. He has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 30 of 99 (.303 avg, .905 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 3 homers, 13 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

FIRST BASE: Joey Votto is one of the favorites to win the N.L. MVP Award and that’s for good reason. Votto played in 150 games for the Reds this year and he was 177 of 547 (.324 avg, 1.024 OPS) with 106 runs scored, 37 homers, 113 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He also bashed righty pitchers at a .347 clip this year!

Ryan Howard had a decent season but it was a down year for him. Howard played in 143 games for the Phillies this year and he was 152 of 550 (.276 avg, .858 OPS) with 87 runs scored, 31 homers and 108 RBIs. Most players would take those kind of numbers and be happy but not Howard. Howard has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 32 of 118 (.271 avg, .921 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 7 homers and 27 RBIs.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR REDS

SECOND BASE: Brandon Phillips had a down year for the Reds as his homers and steals were way down. Phillips played in 155 games for the Reds this year and he was 172 of 626 (.275 avg, .762 OPS) with 100 runs scored, 18 homers, 59 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The Reds need Phillips to step up in the playoffs as they need him to produce near the top of the lineup.

Chase Utley struggled to stay healthy this year and it hurt the Phillies. He played in 115 games for the Phillies this year and he was 117 of 425 (.275 avg, .832 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 16 homers, 65 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Utley has played in 32 games in the post season in his career and he is 29 of 115 (.252 avg, .920 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 9 homers, 19 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

SHORTSTOP: Orlando Cabrera was signed specifically to give the Reds some veteran leadership and he has done that. He played in 123 games for the Reds this year and he was 130 of 494 (.263 avg, .657 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 4 homers, 42 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Cabrera has played in 34 games in his post season career and he was 33 of 141 (.234 avg, .609 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

Switch hitting Jimmy Rollins had a rough season as he just seemed to be injured most of the year. Rollins only played in 88 games for the Phillies this year and he was 85 of 350 (.243 avg, .694 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 8 homers, 41 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Rollins has played in 32 games in the post season in his career and he is 31 of 134 (.231 avg, .663 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 3 homers, 11 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

THIRD BASE: Scott Rolen stayed healthy for the most part in 2010 and he really helped the Reds. Veteran leadership, a power bat and a Gold Glove type mitt is what you get with Rolen. Rolen played in 133 games for the Reds this year and he was 134 of 471 (.285 avg, .855 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 20 homers and 83 RBIs. Rolen has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 26 of 114 (.228 avg, .742 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 5 homers and 11 RBIs.

Placido Polanco is a solid player but his left elbow is really bothering him which will likely effect his play. Polanco played in 132 games for the Phillies this year and he was 165 of 554 (.298 avg, .725 OPS) with 76 runs scored, 6 homers, 52 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Polanco has played in 25 games in his post season career and he is 24 of 81 (.296 avg, .684 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR REDS

LEFT FIELD: Jonny Gomes got his first legit starting job this year and he played pretty well. Gomes played in 148 games for the Reds this year and he was 136 of 511 (.266 avg, .758 OPS) with 77 runs scored, 18 homers, 86 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Gomes probably has the most pure power of any player on the Reds so the Phillies will likely be careful with him.

Raul Ibanez had a off year for the Phillies. He played in 155 games for the Phillies this year and he was 154 of 561 (.275 avg, .793 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 16 homers, 83 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Ibanez has played in 24 games in the post season in his career and he is 17 of 71 (.239 avg, .707 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers and 13 RBIs.

EDGE: EVEN

CENTER FIELD: Drew Stubbs won the starting CF job last spring and he put up solid numbers in his first year as a regular. Stubbs played in 150 games for the Reds this year and he was 131 of 514 (.255 avg, .773 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 22 homers, 77 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He is just a solid all-around baseball player.

Shane Victorino is the heart and soul of the Phillies as he plays hard every single inning and his uniform is often pretty dirty. Victorino played in 147 games for the Phillies this year and he was 152 of 587 (.259 avg, .756 OPS) with 84 runs scored, 18 homers, 69 RBIs and 34 stolen bases. Victorino has played in 32 games in his post season career and he is 33 of 119 (.277 avg, .868 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.

EDGE: EVEN

RIGHT FIELD: Jay Bruce had the best season of his major league career which included the walkoff homer that put the Reds in the playoffs. Bruce played in 148 games for the Reds this year and he is 143 of 509 (.281 avg, .846 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 25 homers, 70 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Bruce is a very streaky hitter and he finished the year strong whacking 4 homers in the last week of the regular season.

Jayson Werth got off to a very fast start this year but his overall numbers were just good. Werth played in 156 games for the Phillies this year and he was 164 of 554 (.296 avg, .920 OPS) with 106 runs scored, 27 homers, 85 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Werth often steps up on the big stage. He has played in 35 games in the post season and he is 35 of 123 (.285 avg, 1.044 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 11 homers, 20 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.

EDGE: PHILLIES

BENCH: The Reds have a pretty solid bench. Ryan Hanigan will back up Ramon Hernandez behind the plate and he’s a solid catcher. Infielder Paul Janish has the reputation of a defense only player but he hit the ball decent this year. Miguel Cairo can play anywhere on the infield as he’s a pesky hitter. Chris Heisey, Laynce Nix and Jim Edmonds are all solid backup outfielders with some pop in their bats.

The Phillies have a veteran look on the bench with Mike Sweeney, Ross Gload, Ben Francisco and Brian Schneider. But, infielder Wilson Valdez might be the most important player off the bench for the Phillies due to Placido Polanco’s bad elbow.

EDGE: EVEN

STARTING PITCHING: Edison Volquez was a interesting pick to head the rotation for the Reds. He was suspended for a good chunk of this season and he was also rehabbing quite a bit. He started 12 games for the Reds this year and he was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Volquez did whiff 67 batters in only 62 2/3 innings so it isn’t all bad with him. Bronson Arroyo will be #2 in line for the Reds. He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Reds this year and he was 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He has pitched in 10 games (2 starts) in the post season in his career and he is 0-0 with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. Righty fireballer Johnny Cueto will be #3 in line. Cueto had his best year for the Reds in 2010. Cueto pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Reds this year and he was 12-7 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. It’s up in the air as to who the Reds would use if they need a #4 starter with Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey and lefty rookie Travis Wood all likely getting consideration.

The top three starters in the Phillies’ rotation are 30-4 against the Reds in their careers! Roy Halladay will be making his first appearance ever in the post season which is kind of hard to believe. He started 33 games for the Phillies this year and he was 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He threw an amazing 250 2/3 innings this year and he only walked 30 batters! Roy Oswalt will be #2 in line for the Phillies. He pitched in 33 games (32 starts) for the Astros & Phillies this year and he was 13-13 with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He only gave up 162 hits in 211 2/3 innings as he was masterful. Oswalt has pitched in 8 games (7 starts) in the post season and he is 4-0 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Lefty Cole Hamels will be #3. Hamels started 33 games for the Phillies this year and he was 12-11 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Hamels had a big comeback year for the Phillies in 2010 as he whiffed 211 batters in 208 2/3 innings pitched showing that his stuff is all the way back. Hamels has started 10 games in the post season and he is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Joe Blanton likely won’t be needed in this round for the Phillies. Blanton pitched in 29 games (28 starts) for the Phillies this year and he was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He has pitched in 8 games (5 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

EDGE: HUGE FOR THE PHILLIES

CLOSER: Francisco Cordero started 2010 pretty well for the Reds but he wasn’t invincible as he blew 8 saves. Cordero pitched in 75 games out of the pen for the Reds this year and he was 6-5 with 40 saves, a 3.84 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Cordero has never pitched in the post season so it will be interesting to see if he can handle the pressure.

Brad Lidge had some bumps this season as he blew five saves but overall I would say that he was a success. Lidge pitched in 50 games out of the pen for the Phillies this year and he was 1-1 with 27 saves, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Lidge has pitched in 32 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-4 with 16 saves, a 2.52 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

BULLPEN: Righty Nick Masset will be the Reds’ top set-up man in the post season. He pitched in 82 games out of the pen for the Reds this year and he was 4-4 with 2 saves, a 3.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Lefty Arthur Rhodes will likely be the Reds’ choice late in games. Rhodes pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Reds this year and he was 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Rhodes is the only Reds’ reliever with post season experience. He has pitched in 20 games (0 starts) in the post season and he is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Rookie lefty Aroldis Chapman will likely be throwing bullets for the Reds in this series. Chapman pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Reds this year and he was 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Chapman whiffed an amazing 19 batters in only 13 1/3 innings this year. Righties Logan Ondrusek (5-0, 3.68 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and Jordan Smith (3-2, 1 save, 3.86 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP) will likely be working early in games for the Reds in this series, if needed.

Ryan Madson is one of the best setup men in the majors and he will work in front of Brad Lidge. Madson pitched in 55 games out of the pen for the Phillies in this season and he was 6-2 with 5 saves, a 2.55 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Madson also has been very successful in the post season in his career. Madson has pitched in 23 games (0 starts) in the post season and he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.74 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Righty Jose Contreras also excelled in his first year as a reliever. He pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Phillies this year and he was 6-4 with 4 saves, a 3.34 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Contreras also has a lot of post season experience as he has pitched in 14 games (4 starts) in which he is 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. J.C. Romero will be the top lefty in the pen for the Phillies. He pitched in 60 games for the Phillies this year and he was 1-0 with 3 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He has pitched in 23 games (0 starts) in his post season career and he is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Righty Chad Durbin (4-1, 3.80 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) and lefty Antonio Bastardo (2-0 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP) will round out the pen.

EDGE: SLIGHT FOR PHILLIES

MANAGER: Dusty Baker took his team to a new level this year. It will be interesting to watch him match wits with Charlie Manuel in this series. Baker has a career record during the regular season of 1,405-1,284 (52.2%) and he is 17-19 (47.2%) in the post season.

Charlie Manuel has led his team to the last two N.L. Pennants, winning one World Series (2008) and losing one (2009). He has a career record in the regular season of 764-619 (55.2%) and he is 22-15 (59.5%) in the post season.

EDGE: PHILLIES

PREDICTION: While the Reds are a great story I just don’t see them being able to deal with the Phillies who have an awesome starting rotation. I like the Phillies in 3 games.

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