Reds error leads to Reds demise
A critical error committed by Reds third baseman Scott Rolen may forever haunt the 2012 team. After winning the first two games of the series on the road in San Francisco, the Reds traveled home to Cincinnati to clinch the series, but Rolen’s error in extra innings may have triggered a series unfortunate events. Game three was a battle of the arms, with both sides only allowing one run through the course of nine innings. Reds starter Homer Bailey recorded ten strikeouts with one walk and one hit during his seven effective innings.
But the tide turned for the Reds in the top of the tenth inning. After a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan put runners in scoring position, Rolen bobbled a chopper-two-hopper that allowed Buster Posey to score the eventual game-winning run.
Twelve hours later, Reds announced starting pitcher Johnny Cueto had been removed from the play-off roster and Mike Leake would start game four.
Leake began game four giving up a gopher ball to Giants outfielder Angel Pagan on the second pitch of the game; and then offered up another to Gregor Blanco in the second inning. Nine hits later, the Giants pummeled the Reds 8-3, tying the series 2-2.
In Leake’s 4.1 innings on the mound, he gave up five runs, six hits, and struck-out only one opposing hitter.
Game five began with a strong performance by hero Mat Latos allowing no runs through the first four innings. Disaster struck in the fifth when Giants Brandon Crawford tripled to bring in Gregor Blanco for the first run. A fielding error by Reds shortstop Zack Cozart brought Crawford in for their second tally. With the bases loaded, Buster Posey blasted a grand slam to seal the Reds doomed fate. A worthy comeback attempt came from Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick who both drove in two runs to narrow the Giants lead to 6-4.
With the tying runs on base, Rolen had a chance of redemption with the last at-bat of the game, but Giants closer Sergio Romo proved to be too much and struck out Rolen to close the book on the Reds 2012 campaign.
Karen L. Willdermood