NLDS Game Three: We Didn’t Lose; We just ran out of outs

The Reds battled within every inch of their life this past Sunday evening at Great American Ball Park. They just ran into a pitcher who was on his game and couldn’t be rattled. And it just wasn’t their time. While it was a sad ending, it’s just the beginning.

These guys will be back. It’s going to be a long run of emotions like this over the next decade barring something unforeseen taking place. A wise man once said that his team didn’t lose, they just ran out of time. That’s what this game felt like. I watched helplessly for 9 innings as my boys struggled to get on base. They hit several hard shots, but each time they did; it was right at someone.

Ah, the playoff bunting. The postseason bunting. You don’t know how long I’ve waited to see that hung at Great American Ball Park. And you know what, this is proof that we lived in such a day and time. No one can take it away from us. Despite getting swept by the mightier Phillies, this is something to remember. And getting to see this game is a memory I’ll hold for a lifetime, no matter the outcome.

This crowd threw everything they had at Cole Hamels for 9 innings. And for 9 innings he threw strikes through the heart of the plate, pumping 94-95 heat and mixing in his change up. I told people I was sitting with before this game that if Hamels was throwing that kind of heat with this off-speed stuff mixed in, it was going to be a long night. And to be honest this was the finest pitching performance that I’ve ever seen in person.

I was sitting up in the third deck on the first base line. It was as high up as I’ve ever sat at a game at Great American, as I was about 4 rows from the top of the stadium. It was a beautiful October night and the city was really on display for anyone who saw it.

When the game began I wanted no dinner, the nerves and atmosphere got me that pumped up. I have to say; the atmosphere that I saw is something that could get addicting. Once you attend a postseason baseball game, it makes a normal game in the middle of May seem like something very ordinary and the intensity level just isn’t comparable.

Fountain Square was truly rocking before this game. As we walked the street on the way to the ball park, there was truly a different vibe in the air in downtown Cincinnati. As I passed center city where the entire Reds team had held a downtown rally just days earlier before they left off for Philadelphia; I thought back to when I was a kid and was walking on Fountain Square with my family out of the Westin Hotel the night after the 1990 Reds had won the World Series. I had no idea that twenty years later I’d be there as a grown man seeing them do battle in the postseason once again.

I took this video as the Reds were getting introduced. This is truly as loud as I’ve ever heard Cincinnati at a baseball game. Keep in mind there was a record crowd for Great American Ball Park on hand to cheer the Reds. It honestly felt more like a football atmosphere for 9 innings than it did baseball.