PN Roundtable: Phillies vs. Reds

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 04, 2010 08:56 AM | Comments: 71
Posts, Writer's Roundtable

This is the Phillies Nation Roundtable. We’ll get you set for the playoffs with a double-dip of roundtable questions with our PN crew. Later, we’ll ask a question about the regular season, but now that we know about the Phils NLDS opponent, we’ll start with the postseason. Tomorrow, look for an in-depth breakdown of the series from all angles.

Question: The Phillies will face the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS starting on Wednesday. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most favorable to the Phillies, 1 being least favorable) how do you think the Phils match up with the Reds in the opening series?

Pat Gallen: I’d say it’s a 7.5. The Reds have decent starting pitching with a top-three of Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, and Johnny Cueto. All have been great at times this season, but Volquez was in the minor leagues as recent as early September, Arroyo doesn’t go very deep into games, and Cueto gave up eight runs in 1 1/3 innings just two weeks ago. All can be crushed, but all can be spectacular, too. Arroyo is the only one with any postseason experience, so the question is; can the Reds staff hang with a team that has been there four straight seasons? Starting pitching is where the Phils hold a decisive advantage, although with Aroldis Chapman in the pen, the Reds have a weapon to use against the Phils lefties.

Offensively, they surely can hang with the Phils. MVP candidate Joey Votto leads the Reds, who scored 780 runs, the most in the National League this season. Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and old friend Scott Rolen round out a potent and skilled group of bats. While the offenses are very close and similar in nature, the advantage is on the pitching side for the Phillies, especially the starters.  With all of their prior playoff precision, I think this is about 7.5 on the favorable scale for the Phillies.

Amanda Orr: 6.5. I was really hoping that the Padres would win the Wild Card because I think that the Reds are the toughest road to the NLCS. I think the Phillies are the favorites, but I still think the Reds are a tough opponent.

Offensively, I think it’s fairly even. As far as collective team stats go, the Reds gained the edge. However, the Phillies were without Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard at parts of the season. Now, they are all back. The Phillies win offensively now, but the Reds are no slouch. Joey Votto scares me.

Pitching-wise, the Phillies get the advantage. The Reds are going to face three aces. On the other hand, the Reds have Bronson Arroyo slated as number two. The Reds have some decent young arms, but they have yet to reach their peak.

Kieran Carobine: Considering the alternative (SF Giants) I think this is a favorable series for the Phillies.  I give it a +8 rating.  This Reds team might be the only team that can really match up offensively against the Phils.  They led league in home runs and could end up with the National Leagues MVP in Joey Votto.  I just don’t see this series being a big slugfest.  I think we will see a lot of low scoring games.

The real edge for the Phillies is their pitching staff.  The big three of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels is what is going to win this series; not to mention the LCS and World Series.

Out of the big three, Roy Oswalt has had the most success against this Reds team. He is 23-3 overall in 34 games against Cincinnati. Cole Hamels is unbeaten against the Reds at 6-0 with a 1.07 ERA. Three of those wins have come at Great American Ball Park, where he will be pitching Game 3. And Roy Halladay is, well, Roy Halladay. He leads the league in wins, shutouts, complete games and innings. He is also, in my opinion, the front runner for the National League Cy Young award.

Paul Boye: I’d give this an 8. It’s tough to get complacent or too comfortable, but the Phillies match up well with every team in the National League. The only trepidation we should have is that this is a five-game series, and is essentially a crapshoot. The Phillies hold a rather distinct advantage in pitching (especially starting pitching) and, one could argue, an advantage in offense as well.

The trio of Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels makes just about any series favorable, but in such a short series, it would behoove us all to be on guard. Trap games do exist, and they may spring up on the Phillies when they least expect it.

On paper, as said before, the Phillies match up very well with any team. The key is neutralizing the batters ahead of Joey Votto. Limiting his at-bats to occasions when he has no runners on ahead of him will be very important.

Michael Baumann: On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d put the matchup with the Reds at a 6. I’m of the opinion that there’s a four-way dead heat for the best team in the postseason, between the Yankees, Twins, Rays, and Phillies, and the rest of the teams in the playoffs are vastly inferior. The Reds, as I’ve noted before, have a “happy to be here” vibe to them, plus the albatross that is Dusty Baker. The Phils have to be the favorites. With that said, the Reds still won 91 games and boast the best player in the NL this season in Joey Votto, a rejuvenated Scott Rolen, and 7 other starters and two often-used reserve outfielders (Laynce Nix and Chris Heisey) with an OPS+ over 100. This team has enough good hitters that someone ought to be hot at any given moment, plus two good lefty relievers and enough competent (though not great) starting pitchers to steal at least one game. I’d expect the Phillies to win this series, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it went four or even five games.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I hope the Phils’ experience in post-season play shines brightly in this series. Also, I like their bench and, of course, the three-headed pitching monster of Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels. One question lingers: Will Ryan Howard ever hit again? Overall, the Phils should win this one in five games.

  • I am going with a 9 here-The reason,experience!!The reds will not be able to handle the pressure or H2O!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    A 9 is way too high….and totally doesn’t give enough credit to a very good Reds team.

    I’m not good at putting values on things or making predictions. But I’d be more at a 7, based on what I know and just the fact that this is the postseason. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

    Phillies in 4.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    A 9 is to high lets be realistic here. We dont have the same high powered offense as in the past. Sure most of if it its still there but not at same level as last 2 years. Our bullpen outside Madson, Contreras and maybe Durbin is questionable. I say its more on a 6.5 level or so.

  • Posts: 0 Hunter

    The only team I would have been higher than a 7.5 on would have been the Padres. I just didn’t feel they had enough offense to break through against H2O.

    This series I’d peg at like a 6. I think the Phils still have the advantage, but the Reds have a potent offense when it is clicking.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    With Votto they always have a chance there no way to stop him only maybe contain the damage he does. Scott Rolen just loves to beat on us as well i think he more than anything takes delight in beating the Phils..

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    People like JAY want to constantly think that the Phillies are just gonna steamroll their way past everybody and that’s why he gives a 9. Don’t get me wrong….I love JAY’S enthusiasm and positive rah rah attitude.

    But the reality is that this is the playoffs…..anything can/could happen. Look…all these 8 teams in the postseason are here for a reason…..they are good enough to have won their respective divisions and wild card spots.

    Now that they’re here….ALL of them will be highly motivated to advance. Everything in the postseason is super-charged and magnified.

    I think the Phillies win this round….but it’s not gonna be the cake-walk that JAY thinks with his 9 rating.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    You are right Chuck. Great Post…

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    6.5… best first round match-up on the docket.

    If pitching wins championships, we’ve got the edge.

    I also believe that we have the best lineup when everything is clicking.

    But the Reds are well balanced and have a little bit of that killer instinct… they are a formidable opponent but they’re young. They’re not a team that I would consider “dangerous,” but they’ve been consistent all year. It’s going to be a tough series. Throwing Volquez out there in game one is definitely a desperate move for the Reds but it was also well calculated… they don’t have anyone to match up with any #1′s out there so you give the ball to the guy that has shut-down potential. I would love to see us come out and crush Volquez. Get to their pen early, make Dusty eat a lot of bullpen arms in game one and hope that Halladay goes 8 or 9.

    Two more things… our fans are battle-tested. I expect that to be a factor (our parks are kind of similar so we’ll have to make them uncomfortable).

    Lastly, we can’t get complacent. We play our best when there is something to prove. Having a clear advantage is sort of a disadvantage mentally, for us. They have to focus on what’s at stake; the opportunity to complete a dynsasty. They shouldn’t be happy winning… I think that we want to steamroll every team we play. I’m talking 3-4-4. We sweep the first series, that’s a tone setter.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Late innings: Chapman vs Utley, Howard, Rauuuul —those are gonna be interesting match-ups.

    I think all their starters are righties, so that’s good for us. I also kinda wanted Hamels pitching second vs this lineup… (if you’re scared of their lefties Votto and Bruce, you’d think that would be the way to go)… Hamels’ numbers against the Reds are outstanding, though Roy2 has also dominated them –EXCEPT for this year in which he didn’t do too well against them.* Frankly, you could go either way… but if it comes down to a Game 5, I think I would rather have Hamels facing that lineup.

    *Cole in 7 games against the Reds has a 1.07 ERA. Roy2 has pitched a season worth’s of innings against the Reds in his career (218 IP) so he knows them well… but I assume that goes both ways and they know him too. He has a 2.81 ERA against them in his career.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I give the Phillies about a 7.5 chance of winning the series. My biggest concern is our bullpen. H2O is awesome but for us to be successful we will need to build a sizable lead in each game before the bullpen comes in. I have watched Durbin, Madson and Contreras show signs of tired arms this month and I am just not overly confident in them. Hopefully we can pound their starters early so we don’t sweat out the late innings.

    Also Philly Phans should never, ever become over confident. We have struggled too long with all of our franchises and enjoy every moment. I am extremely hopeful that all the predictions are right and we go to the World Series!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    There’s no way we go 3-4-4….undefeated….in the postseason. I don’t even think we sweep the Reds.

    BUT….going out on the field with that “steamroll” mentality is definitely what the Phillies will want to do. Like you said, OCP…..”can’t get complacent.”

    I also think that the crowd at CBP is/will be a huge factor. The fans need to be loud and in the opponent’s heads right from the very beginning.

    Also, someone a few weeks back made some comment about how Roy Halladay doesn’t have any playoff experience and that that would be a disadvantage for the Phillies….

    ……lets’s just be clear…..Roy Halladay has waited his entire career fro this moment….he will be just fine. If anything…that hunger he has is a clear advantage for the Phils.


  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    The Reds won’t be intimidated.

    This is team was swept by St. Louis in Aug. and fell out of first place. That would have sunk most teams. But the Reds immediately bounced back and blew the Cards out of the race.

    Brandon Philips and Rolen are key veteran players on this team. I could see them coming up with big hits in this series.

    I’m interested to see how the Phils perform as the favorites. That roll hasn’t always served us well.

    I’m extremely confident in this team–it’s the best team in baseball.

    But as others have said, the best/most talented team doesn’t always win in the postseason. I’d love for us to jump on Volquez right away in Game 1. If they do, the Phils might sweep. But if the bats are cold, watch out…..

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    To be fair, Philly Texan, the Cardinals played terrible down the stretch… they finished the season strong, winning 9 of their final 12 meaningless games, but prior to that, they were 13-24 after that 3 game sweep of the Reds. Over that stretch, the Pirates, Cubs and Brewers beat them twice in 3 game series, the Astros swept them in a 3 game series and the Nationals beat them 3 times in a 4 game series. The Reds didn’t really beat anyone… the Cardinals stunk up the joint.

    Bruce… “Also Philly Phans should never, ever become over confident.”

    I disagree. This team has earned our trust. Why shouldn’t we be confident? This team is NOT the ’64 team. They are not part of that Eagles franchise which lacks leadership at all levels. They don’t settle for mediocrity. I’m extremely confident… I understand that the Reds are a professional baseball team and no one is going to waive the white flag but if you haven’t realized, this team doesn’t like losing.

  • Hamels and Victorino set a win-it-all-or-bust scenario http://tinyurl.com/2af8lpw

  • Arbitration Eligibles: Philadelphia Phillies http://bit.ly/aoiS2M #mlb

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    Original Chuck,
    Sure, the Cards fell apart. But the Reds still deserve credit for bouncing back and playing well. They put the division away very early. The Reds could have fallen apart too and made it a race. Instead, they capitalized on the Cards struggled and turned the NL Central into a laugher. So I give them credit for that.

    Look, I’m more confident in this Phils team than any Philly sports team I can ever remember. (I was too young to remember the fo, fo, fo Sixers, but that’s the only team I can remember being as dominant as this one.)

    So, yeah, I expect the Phils to do well in this series. And if they jump on the Reds in the first game, I think this series could be a sweep .

    But all I’m saying is the Reds are good enough to win this. If the Phils let them hang around, Philips and Rolen and Votto and Bruce can beat you.

    It’s on the offense. The Phils starters will keep the games low scoring. If the offense puts up some runs, this will be a cakewalk. If the bats go cold, though, and the games are 1-1 in the 7th inning, then I can see the Reds stealing games in the late innings.

    So, yeah, I’m really confident in this team. But I’m from Philly—so a little fear of disappointment is ever present…..it’s what separates us from Yankee fans.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew R.

    Arroyo doesn’t pitch deep into games? That’s a new one. Last 6 years, he’s got 10 complete games and averages 215 innings pitched.

  • Well put philly texan!!

  • Posts: 0 Publius

    Ah playoffs, the time of year where fans, who used to rely so much on statistics to back up their points, turn to intangible red herrings like “experience” and “playing under pressure” and “veteran clubhouse leadership” to back them up. Hilarious.

    Just look at the two teams in terms and talent, and the Phils match up well, especially until the starting pitchers come out.

    After that though, it can be a bit of a crapshoot.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    My money’s on the proven winner, too. I do believe the Phillies will win this series.

    But you gave them a 9 out of 10 favorable rating. That, to me, suggests you think the Phils will win easily. That would be “steamrolling”

    And I think that’s a naive stance to take. I am not fearing the Reds….but I’ve been around long enough to realize that wilth the playoffs…it’s a completely different animal.

    And, also, JAY…in response to you saying “For some odd reason you have a thing for trying to start sh*t with me.”……that’s not true, either…

    ….what did I say in my post at 10:27??…..”I love JAY’S enthusiasm and rah rah attitude.”

    Somehow that’s starting sh*t????


  • Brian Anderson is doing the play by play for the Reds / Phillies ??? WTH http://tinyurl.com/24unsce

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    You need to lighten up, dude. I meant nothing malicious in what I said. I was being a bit sarcastic and poking fun with some of the other things I said to you. That’s the way I am at times.

  • Posts: 0 jt

    jay bruce has been swining a hot bat for the reds too he hit that walk off homer to to clinch them the divison…i agree we gotta keep guys off base in front of them and make the most damage solo homers from them…

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I know that the Reds have some punch but if our pitchers pitch the way we expect them to pitch, I think that we’ll bury this YOUNG team pretty early. Playoff baseball is a different animal.

    Arroyo is a nice pitcher… Volquez is a nice pitcher… but I think that we’ll be able to get to them and we all know that playoff baseball is a different animal. What does Dusty Baker do when he’s down 2 runs with Halladay throwing darts in the 5th? I’m feeling pretty good.


  • OCP-I AGREE 100%

  • Posts: 0 jt

    when is the last time the phillies swept a playoff series?i know this phillies team hasn’t swept anyone yet i’d love to see a sweep,but winning a series is winning a series i take that.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I feel like we can maneuver this lineup… besides Votto and Bruce (who has just started to turn it on), there’s not much that scares me. I love Phillips but he’s not exactly terrifying. I don’t expect Stubbs to do much. Rolen… he has that “x” factor but he has slumped pretty bad over the second half of the season (especially lately).

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The Reds are a better team than anything else that’s out there but their strength is their balance and their consistency and unfortunately for them, I think that’s also our strength. They can out-last many teams (lose game one and still be in great shape) but we have too much depth to fall behind. If they lose game 1, they’re staring at Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels before another dose of Roy Halladay… it’s bad pitching match-up after bad pitching match-up for them. Cueto/Hamels is pretty even but we have a clear advantage in every other game.

    The Giants would have been a tougher match up in a short series…

    I said 6.5 but it’s probably more like a 7.5. Crazy things happen in the playoffs so you can’t start higher than a 8.5. They have the best player on either team (Votto) so they get a point for that… other than that and maybe their 8/9 inning guys, they don’t have an advantage to speak of.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Cole Hamels OWNS the Reds…

    lifetime 6-0 with a 1.07 ERA and a ridiculous WHIP of .908

    at Great American he’s 3-0, 1.67, 1.037

    So he’s better at home vs the Reds….but still REALLY good in Cincy.


    Roy Oswalt has a ton of success as well….

    career vs. Reds 23-3, 281 ERA, 1.147 WHIP

    at Great American he’s 7-1, 3.57, 1.288


    Hamels, I think, matches up better with the Reds on the road, even though the sample size is smaller than Roy’s.

    And Oswalt is 5-0 at home with the Phillies this year, to go along with an ERA of 1.76 and a WHIP of .852.

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Greg Dobbs is arbitration eligable. Is that a joke?

    The Reds make me anxious. They have the abilities, ambition, & heart to beat us & go further. Underestimating them is a bad road. But I don’t think the Phillies underestimate anyone. Votto is great & arguably carries them. Rolen always hits us. I don’t know much about Bruce. I don’t know, Phillies 6.5 or 7.

    With player additions & a more confident, cohesive bench, this Phillies team is better now than at the start. I’ve found this interesting: The first two innings can pass w/o a hit, but you can feel the line-up assessing the pitcher. Can’t be a good feeling. Then they hit later. Taken as a whole, they irritate the hell out of any pitcher w/uncomfortable ABs. May not look like much at first, but it takes a toll.

    H2O is fine (w/the excep of occas. HRs). Hopefully they’ll cut back on 1 or 2 of the HRs. Hope the idea of them sparks fear in this inexperienced team. The line-up, well any hitter can be gotten to. Utley & Howard aren’t fully there. But Utley will get there. Last yr Howard was good during the playoffs, not good during the WS. Rollins is a question. But we’ve been fine w/o him. Werth is on it, thank the stars. Thanks to cortisone, Polanco seems okay. Victorino is normal: good one day, not so good the next. We can count on his emotions carrying him this time of yr. Ruiz is good at playoff time. Ibanez seems to be able to just step it up when nec now.

    The bullpen…ay yi yi. And at the risk of inciting riot, even our closer …. Let’s just say putting men on base w/the Reds (& other teams after this) is not a solid way to “close”.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Jaydude! I’m with you, I have 100% confidence that the Phils will win this series with the Reds, no doubt in my mind but I sure don’t think it’ll be a sweep. It may last 4, even 5 but it doesn’t matter because all I see my friend, is RED!

    Phils win vs the Giants in maybe 7 as well, then the WS in 6 or 7 – totally confident.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    The teams are pretty even – starting 8 a slight advantage to the Phils (if Rollins, PP, and Chooch are reasonably healthy, if at least one is hurting, pushes to the Reds), a big advantage with our starting pitching, their bullpen. The Reds made a huge mistake starting Volquez in the first game. His control is erratic, and he’ll be in front of 45k screaming maniacs, which isn’t going to help. If the Phils can be patient at the plate, Volquez will walk himself into trouble (35 walks in 62 innings), then start grooving the ball . In a 5 game series, you can’t get blown out the 1st game. They should have started Arroyo in game 1 – he’s got better control, playoff experience in a hostile environment, more likely to keep it close.

    I don’t think our starters lose, but at least one game is going to come down to Votto vs Romero/Bastardo. Votto is a beast.

    Phils in 4, game 1 a blow-out, the other 3 all close.

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    oh stop. the phillies will not sweat to win this series. the reds are not even in the same league. we are the best for a reason. there ace would be our 4th starter. they will not beat our three big guns. SWEEP. Votto will then go to a mental home and the 150 mph our pitcher will go back home. this series will be so easy. NEXT

  • Phils considered reinforcements for Lidge at midseason. His rebound made them unneccessary. http://tinyurl.com/2e3ax7d

  • Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt are a combined 30-4 with a 2.52 ERA in their combined 45 career games against the Reds.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    The Reds aren’t “even in the same league”???

    This from a guy that 2 months ago had the Phillies as done for the year.

    Yeah….real credible statement from our friend, jeff.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    If I remember correctly….jeff said back in July….when the Phillies SWEPT the Reds…..that that whole thing was a fluke.

    Yet now he says that the Reds aren’t “even in the same league”

    Can anyone even try to explain this? What exactly are we reading here and how do we understand it??…..

    ……cause I’m at a loss…

  • Posts: 0 jt

    who do you guys think better the 08 brewers or 10 reds?they reds remind me of the brewers when we faced them a young team thats great on offense and mediocre pitching and the brewers then had sabathia…the phils shut down the brewers lineup and our pitching staff is much better this year then the 08 team…they play to their potential they should handle the reds just keep the guys hitting in front of votto and bruce off base………….

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    right, and that series vs the Brewers went 4 games.

    Like I said earlier…and a few others also said it….

    …Phillies in 4.

  • Posts: 0 Desibrave

    Honestly i don’t think H20 is a good thing to use.., H20 water that is when exposed to heat will become vapor.. I don’t think you want your pitching team to vaporize ;)

  • Posts: 0 Desibrave

    Not sure if the Dude who came up with this idea of “H20″ works at a restaurant waiting tables..,

  • Posts: 0 Desibrave

    H20 – water has no calories, no vitamins nothing, it doesn’t generate any energy, infact water when gets cold could have the reverse affect of sucking up heat/energy from the surroundings,

  • Question for the nation? Where will charlie bat j-roll?Do you guys agree with me and have vic lead off or not?I think j-roll needs to bat 6th or lower,because we need speed at the top and rollins is not running well!

  • Chuck i too agree on 4 games,the reds will steal one somehow……

  • Posts: 0 jt

    j-roll has to bat 7th imo he hasn’t had enough ab’s yet and i like victorino speed at the top of lineup.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Votto has been having alot of days off with excuses like “fatigue” or “exhaustion”.
    The mental problems there are well documented.
    Not saying there is anything at all to it. just saying. Here is his last status in my fantasy league. And yes I had Voto this year and won the league. This is the type of thing I had been hearing the last 2 or 3 weeks of the season.

    Sat, Oct 2

    Votto will not play in Saturday’s game against the Brewers, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

    Recommendation: “He looks a little bit slow, a little bit off,” said manager Dusty Baker, so he gave Votto a rest. He indicated Votto would play on Sunday for at least a few innings, however, to keep him sharp for the playoffs.

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