Cincinnati Reds Look to Make Quick Work of the Giants

Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IOctober 9, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 07:  Cincinnati Reds Manager Dusty Baker and Brandon Phillips #4 celebrate their 9 to 0 win over the San Francisco Giants in Game Two of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on October 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There has been a lot of complaining about the 2-3 playoff format in the division series this year. Dylan Murphy of Sports Grid expressed it clearly by saying it "makes zero sense."

The idea that the team with the worse record would get to start the series at home is inexcusable.

But the Cincinnati Reds found a novel solution to that problem: Win both games.

The San Francisco Giants were a trendy pick for National League Champions. Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown was one of the many experts who punched their ticket to the World Series.

Two games at AT&T Park later, and the Reds have outscored the Giants 14-2. After Johnny Cueto's injury in Game 1, the bullpen let up two runs in 8.1 innings. Bronson Arroyo followed with a dominating one-hit performance to give the Reds a 2-0 series lead.   

Brandon Phillips is batting .500 with a 1.500 OPS for the series.

Now they need to just win one game out of three in their home ballpark and they will advance to their first NLCS since 1995.

Cincinnati has been underrated all season long without getting the respect nor media coverage of a team that finished with the second highest win total in baseball.

But manager Dusty Baker is back and has the team in an ideal spot to advance. While Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is talented, he has not been on a roll like Cincinnati's Homer Bailey.

Just two starts ago, Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Pirates. It's unlikely that he will throw another no-no, but he has the stuff to shut down San Francisco.

The Reds and their fans could have had a lot to complain about at the start of this postseason. They won 97 games and had to start on the road against Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

That is not fair.

But the Reds did not care if it was fair. They just won. That's what champions do.