I’ll take it. Our first playoff series win since I was in high school. Two brilliant pitching performances. The bats finally woke up.
The final score doesn’t indicate how similarly tense Game 2 was to Game 1. This was another pitcher’s duel. Luis Castillo matched Ian Anderson zero for zero until the 5th when Ronald Acuna contributed his third hit on the day by knocking Austin Riley in with a double. So while the dam did not break until later, we at least had a little breathing room as we got into the latter innings.
Ian Anderson was fantastic in his first playoff start. Not that a championship-caliber pitching staff should have too many challenges with the Reds’ lineup, but Ian shoved: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 ER. You couldn’t have asked for anything more from the kid. Could you imagine where this team would be if Mike Soroka was healthy?
But as mentioned, the dam broke in the 8th with two-run homers by Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall. Ozuna, Duvall, and Dansby have all struggled, but they all hit the ball hard in the 8th, and hopefully that is a sign for the next round. The bullpen finished this small series with 9 scoreless innings with Will Smith, Chris Martin, and Mark Melancon all taking the ball for the second day in a row and giving scoreless innings.
The Reds can’t possibly feel like they had a chance, but the Braves’ offensive issues gave them hope until the very end. We await the winner of the Cubs/Marlins series to find out who we face next round, and we’ll have to wait longer: their Game 2 was postponed due to weather. The Marlins won the first game. I’m hoping we draw the Marlins.
Enjoy it! We won a playoff series!