The Cincinnati Reds will have nightmares about Max Fried and Ian Anderson for a while.
Not even a week after Reds first baseman Joey Votto proclaimed to the world his team was “a f*****g nightmare”, Cincinnati is out of the postseason after being unable to score a run in two games vs. the Atlanta Braves. As it turns out, the shoe was on the other foot. Fried and Anderson gave Reds hitters a combined 13 innings of nothing but nightmare fuel for the offseason.
Less is more at the podium, so don’t give a good team bulletin board material.
Atlanta pitched 22 scoreless innings over the course of two days in this best-of-three NL Wild Card series. This was Atlanta’s first postseason series victory since winning getting past the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2001 NLDS. For Cincinnati, the Reds’ postseason futility continues, as they haven’t advanced in October since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1995 NLDS.
Though old adage in baseball is good pitching beats good hitting, great hitting will eventually beat good pitching over the course of time. Atlanta only scored six runs in this series, but all but one of them came in the eighth inning on. Freddie Freeman walked off in the bottom of the 13th in Game 1’s 1-0 victory on Wednesday. A pair of two-run blasts in the eighth carried Atlanta in Game 2.
Over the course of 22 innings, the Reds had 13 hits and drew five walks, yet couldn’t plate a single run. They left a combined 34 runners on base and struck out 28 times. Fried went seven innings allowing six hits and struck out five on Wednesday. Anderson went six innings on Thursday allowing two hits, two walks and struck out nine. The Braves bullpen went nine innings scoreless.
Even if Atlanta had its troubles at the plate too because Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo were incredible in their starts, the Braves did just enough at the plate to survive and advance to the NLDS. They will face the winner of the best-of-three series between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs at Minute Maid Park in Houston next week. Atlanta was Cincinnati’s nightmare.
We’re not sure if the regret at the podium has sunk in yet with Votto, but it surely will in due time.