Among the top moments from the six games in the baseball playoffs published in USA Today, the Reds - Giants series was listed as number three. According to the article, the key play was Jay Bruce's memorable at bat against San Francisco reliever Sergio Romo.
"It was the most gripping at-bat of the postseason," wrote Jorge L. Ortiz in the October 23 issue, "the culmination of an apparent deciding-game rout turned high drama."
Bruce came to bat right after Ryan Ludwick's single scored Zach Cozart and sent Joey Votto to second. With the tying runs on base, Bruce saw eleven pitches from Romo before he finally hit one fair. Unfortunately, he hit that twelfth pitch harmlessly into left field for the second out.
Third baseman Scott Rolen then struck out, and the Reds' season was over. The fact that it ended with the tying runs on base seemed to be appropriate, since the club struggled to hit with men on all season.
In addition to Bruce's ninth inning at bat, several other key plays from that series should be pointed out. Each one helped foreshadow the disappointing results for Cincinnati.
Johnny Cueto's injury, Game OneThe ace of the Reds' rotation had struggled through September, but he was given the start in the opener anyway. He retired one batter before leaving the game with an injured arm. Although the Reds went on to win the game, they were later forced to use Mat Latos on short rest in game five.
Failed steal attempt, Game ThreeThe Reds had the Giants down two games to none, forcing San Francisco to have to win three straight in Great American Ball Park. Brandon Phillips opened the first inning with a single, and then stole second. The unnecessary aggressiveness ended up costing the Reds, when Phillips was thrown out trying to steal third. Zack Cozart then walked, and the next two hitters singled. Had Phillips not attempted to steal, he and Cozart both would have scored. Instead, the Reds got just one run, which proved to be the only one they would get in the 2-1 loss.
Scott Rolen error, Game ThreeJonathan Broxton had struck out two batters after two consecutive singles and a wild pitch placed runners at second and third. Joacquin Arias hit a harmless ground ball to third, which Scott Rolen misplayed. That error allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Zack Cozart error, Game FiveMat Latos had recovered after yielding an RBI triple to Brandon Crawford, getting Matt Cain to ground out to the mound. He induced a routine grounder from Angel Pagan, but Zack Cozart mishandled it. That error would eventually lead to Buster Posey's grand slam, the shot that virtually ended the Reds' season.
Failed double steal, Game FiveWith the Reds trailing 6-2 with no outs and runners on first and second, Cincinnati attempted a double steal. Batter Ryan Hanigan struck out, and Jay Bruce was tagged out on the attempted steal at third.
Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez, three Hall of Famers who have made him a lifelong fan of the Reds.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jay Bruce
- Zack Cozart
- Scott Rolen