Cincinnati Reds Suffer Historic Loss in NLDS to San Francisco Giants

Nick Dudukovich@@DukeofNickContributor IIOctober 11, 2012

The Reds offense couldn't catch the Giants in game five of the NLDS Thurdsay.
The Reds offense couldn't catch the Giants in game five of the NLDS Thurdsay.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

How did this happen?

At the beginning of the week, the Reds were sitting pretty, having just taken the first two games of the NLDS on the road against the Giants.

Cincinnati had three tries to wrap up the series at home. Advancing to the NLCS was a given.

Then the wheels fell off in a historic fashion.

By getting swept at home, the Reds now own the distinction of becoming the first National League team since the wild card was incorporated in 1995 to lose the round after taking a 2-0 series lead.

To think, this all could've been avoided with a Game 3 win Tuesday.

Homer Bailey pitched seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out 10 batters that afternoon, but the Reds' lineup went silent.

The game ended up going into extra innings and Scott Rolen, usually known as Mr. Reliable, blew a grounder he probably fields nine out of 10 times. The gaffe enabled the Giants to win the game 2-1, despite collecting only three measly hits in 10 innings.

In Game 4, the Reds lost before they took the field.

Johnny Cueto had been placed on the disabled list because of an injury to his oblique. His replacement, Mike Leake, didn't make it out of the fifth inning after allowing five runs.

In Game 5, Cincinnati's bats teased Reds country by bringing the tying run to the plate in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

But as was the story with the Reds for the final month of the season, Cincinnati's bats couldn't get it done.

During the regular season, the Reds hit .245 with runners in scoring position and .198 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

The Reds overcame their offensive deficiencies by relying on strong pitching throughout the year.

When Buster Posey knocked a game-changing grand slam against Mat Latos in the series finale, and Cincinnati was forced to come from behind, the truth that is the Reds' offensively challenged lineup couldn't be masked.