Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

2010 National League Division Series

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October 6–10

2010 National League Division Series

TV announcers
Brian Anderson and Joe Simpson

Radio announcers
Jon Sciambi and Dave Campbell

John Hirschbeck, Bruce Dreckman, Sam Holbrook, Ed Rapuano, Gary Cederstrom and Rob Drake

The 2010 National League Division Series (NLDS) were two best-of-five game series to determine the participating teams in the 2010 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners and a fourth team—a "Wild Card"—played in two series from October 6 to 11. TBS televised all games in the United States.


Under MLB's playoff format, no two teams from the same division were matched up in the Division Series, regardless of whether their records would normally indicate such a matchup. Home field advantage went to the team with the better regular-season record with the exception of the wild card team, which defers home field advantage regardless of record. The matchups were:

  • (1) Philadelphia Phillies (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (3) Cincinnati Reds (Central Division champions, 91–71): Phillies won the series, 3–0.
  • (2) San Francisco Giants (West Division champions, 92–70) vs. (4) Atlanta Braves (Wild Card qualifier, 91–71): Giants won the series, 3–1.
  • The Phillies and Reds had met in the postseason once before: in the 1976 NLCS, which the Reds won 3–0. The Giants and Braves also had one prior postseason series—the 2002 NLDS—which the Giants won 3–2.

    Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds

    Philadelphia won the series, 3–0.

    †: No-hitter by Roy Halladay

    San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

    San Francisco won the series, 3–1.

    Game 1, October 6

    5:00 p.m. (EDT) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    In his first career postseason start, Phillies ace Roy Halladay hurled a no-hitter, giving up only one walk (to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning). Halladay's was only the second postseason no-hitter in Major League Baseball history, and the first since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He threw only 104 pitches.

    During the 2010 regular season, Halladay had thrown a perfect game on the road against the Florida Marlins on May 29. He thus became the first and only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the regular season and a no-hitter in the postseason in the same year. Halladay is also the fifth major league pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same year, and the first since Nolan Ryan in 1973.

    The Phillies' offense got started early when Shane Victorino sliced a double down the left field line in the first inning. After stealing third base, Chase Utley brought him home with a sacrifice fly. Victorino went 2-for-4 in the game and also had two RBIs on a single in the second inning that scored Wilson Valdez and Halladay. Halladay had reached earlier in the inning on an RBI single of his own, helping his own cause and becoming the first pitcher in major league history to outhit the opposing team in a postseason game.

    Cincinnati starter Edinson Volquez lasted only 1 23 innings before Travis Wood was called upon in relief by manager Dusty Baker. Volquez gave up four hits, four runs (all earned), and two walks. He faced eleven batters, retiring only five.

    Game 2, October 8

    6:00 p.m. (EDT) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    On the fourth pitch he saw, Brandon Phillips hit a solo home run to lead off the first inning. This is both the first hit and first run since 1995 for the Reds in the postseason. Laynce Nix scored another run in the top of the second inning on two throwing errors and a wild pitch.

    Jay Bruce hit a lead-off solo homer in the fourth inning to increase the lead to 3–0. In the top of the fifth inning, Phillips hit a lead-off double, advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly.

    The Phillies mounted their attack in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pinch-hitter Domonic Brown reached first base on a fielder's choice, then the Phillies loaded the bases on two consecutive defensive errors. Chase Utley delivered a two-out RBI single to get the Phillies on board. But Arroyo struck out Ryan Howard to limit the damage at two.

    The Phillies scored again in the sixth inning. Jayson Werth walked, stole second, then scored after two batters were hit by pitches and a bases-loaded walk by Reds relievers Arthur Rhodes and Logan Ondrusek.

    The Reds sent flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning. He hit Chase Utley, the third time by Reds' relievers in the night, then struck out Ryan Howard. Werth hit a ground ball to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, but Utley was called safe at second base. The next batter Jimmy Rollins hit a fly ball to right field, but the Reds right fielder Jay Bruce lost it in the lights; Reds second baseman Phillips also missed the relay catch. These two crucial errors—the third and fourth on the night—let both Utley and Werth score. Rollins scored later on Raúl Ibáñez's single and Carlos Ruiz's RBI force-out. Reds reliever Nick Masset replaced Chapman and got Shane Victorino to ground out to end the inning. The Phillies took the 6–4 lead on Reds' errors into the eighth inning.

    In the bottom of the eighth inning, Utley hit a one-out single then stole second. Masset intentionally walked Howard, to set up a potential double play for the next batter. However, Werth hit an RBI single to left field to score Utley.

    Phillies closer Brad Lidge closed the ninth for the save.

    The six combined errors tied an LDS record previously set by the Athletics and Red Sox in the 2003 ALDS.

    Game 3, October 10

    8:00 p.m. (EDT) at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio

    Cincinnati was again dominated by Phillies' starting pitching. Cole Hamels pitched a complete game shutout, striking out nine while allowing five hits. Plácido Polanco scored for the Phillies on Orlando Cabrera's throwing error in the top of the first inning. Chase Utley added another run to the lead by hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning. With one out in the top of the ninth inning, Carlos Ruiz hit a double off Aroldis Chapman on a pitch that was clocked by PITCH f/x at 103.5 mph, making it the fastest pitched ball ever to result in a hit. For the series, Cincinnati was shut out two times and scored just four runs, making them among the very few teams to lose in a shutout twice. (The 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers lost in three shutouts to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series in a sweep.)

    Composite line score

    2010 NLDS (3–0): Philadelphia Phillies over Cincinnati Reds

    Game 1, October 7

    9:30 p.m. (EDT) at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California

    Game 1 was a pitching duel that matched the Giants' two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, in his first postseason start, against the Braves' Derek Lowe, a seasoned veteran of postseason play.

    The game's only run came in the fourth inning. Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey singled to left, stole second in a controversial play where he was called safe while appearing to be out, and then scored on a two-out single by Cody Ross. That run was the only one Lincecum needed, as the Giants' ace was dominant, pitching a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and striking out a franchise record 14 while walking only one.

    Game 2, October 8

    9:30 p.m. (EDT) at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California

    The Giants took a quick 3–0 lead as Pat Burrell hit a three-run home run, following Freddy Sanchez's single and Buster Posey's walk in the bottom of the first inning.

    Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected from the game in the top of the second inning, arguing that Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff's foot did not stay on base on Álex González's ground-out.

    Giants starter Matt Cain also hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning, scoring Cody Ross, who had doubled earlier.

    Braves first baseman Derrek Lee hit a lead-off single in the top of the sixth inning and advanced to second base on Pat Burrell's fielding error. Brian McCann singled him home in the next at-bat to end the 14 scoreless innings streak for the Braves in this series.

    The Braves struck back in the top of the eighth inning. After consecutive singles by Lee and McCann, the Giants brought in closer Brian Wilson for a six-out save. However, the next hitter, Melky Cabrera, hit an RBI ground ball that scored Lee from third base and Cabrera beat the throw to first base due to Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval's throwing error. Following Brooks Conrad's sacrifice bunt, Álex González's RBI double scored both runners and tied the game at 4–4.

    The game remained tied and went to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth inning, two consecutive bunts—one single, one sacrifice—knocked Braves closer Billy Wagner out of the game because of injury. Braves reliever Kyle Farnsworth hit the next batter, Freddy Sanchez, then walked Huff to load the bases. However, Posey grounded into a double play to end the inning.

    In the top of the eleventh inning, Rick Ankiel hit a go-ahead solo home run into McCovey Cove on the fly to give the Braves a 5–4 lead. At the time Ankiel was the only player in postseason history besides Barry Bonds to hit a home run into McCovey Cove. Farnsworth threw a scoreless eleventh inning for the win and the series was tied at 1–1.

    Game 3, October 10

    4:30 p.m. (EDT) at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

    Game 3 was yet another dramatic matchup of strong pitching. The Giants sent lefty Jonathan Sánchez to the mound, who turned in a strong performance, pitching a no-hitter through six innings. The Braves countered with right-hander Tim Hudson, who matched Sánchez for seven innings, allowing only one unearned run.

    The Giants took an early lead in the second inning after leaving the bases loaded in the first. Third baseman Mike Fontenot started the inning by driving a triple off the right field wall. The next batter, Cody Ross, lofted a pop fly that was dropped by Atlanta second baseman Brooks Conrad, giving San Francisco a 1–0 lead. That run seemed to be all Sánchez would need, as he shut out the Braves for 7 13 innings.

    With a runner at first and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Giants still nursing their 1–0 lead, Giants setup man Sergio Romo, a right-hander, relieved Sánchez to face the right-handed Troy Glaus as a pinch-hitter. Braves manager Bobby Cox countered by sending left-handed batter Eric Hinske to the plate instead. With two strikes on him, Hinske turned on a hanging slider from Romo and drove it just inside the right field foul pole for a home run, giving the Braves a 2–1 lead, and electrifying the crowd at Turner Field.

    Rookie right-hander Craig Kimbrel came out of the bullpen to start the top of the ninth for the Braves, relieving Jonny Venters, who had struck out the side the previous inning. Kimbrel retired Ross on a popout to Conrad, for the first out. Travis Ishikawa then pinch-hit for Romo and drew a walk. After striking out leadoff man Andrés Torres, Kimbrel gave up a single to second baseman Freddy Sanchez, and was removed from the game, leaving runners on first and second base, with two outs. Another rookie Brave, lefty Michael Dunn came on and gave up a game-tying single to Aubrey Huff. Dunn was then pulled for a right-hander, Peter Moylan, who induced a grounder from Buster Posey, which proceeded to bounce through the legs of Conrad, the second baseman's third error of the game. Sanchez scored on the play, giving the Giants a 3–2 lead. Kyle Farnsworth came on and got the third out, but the damage was done. The Giants brought in their closer Brian Wilson for the bottom of the ninth. He held the lead, giving up a single to Brian McCann, but retiring Nate McLouth on a grounder to end the game.

    Game 4, October 11

    7:30 p.m. (EDT) at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

    With their backs against the wall, the Braves sent Derek Lowe to the mound on three days' rest. The Braves scored first in the bottom of the third inning when Brian McCann's sacrifice fly drove in Omar Infante.

    Lowe took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but the Giants tied the game with one out on Cody Ross' first-pitch homer off a Lowe cutter. McCann answered with another in the bottom of the inning off the Giants' rookie starter, Madison Bumgarner, to take back the lead.

    Lowe was relieved after 6 13 innings. After walking Aubrey Huff and allowing an infield single to Buster Posey, Bobby Cox made his way out to the mound, apparently to remove Lowe from the game. However, after talking to him, Cox elected to leave Lowe in, prompting huge cheers from the Atlanta fans. The next batter, Pat Burrell, walked on a 3–1 pitch near the inside corner and Lowe's night was done. He struck out eight while allowing only two hits and walking two. Braves' relievers Peter Moylan and Jonny Venters could not hold the lead as the Giants scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning on Juan Uribe's RBI fielder's choice and Cody Ross' RBI single. The Braves might have been able to escape the one-out, bases-loaded jam, however, Álex González's throwing error, his second in the game, cost them. Both errors were debatable. The first, was a ball hit in the hole he didn't field cleanly with the speedy Andrés Torres running. The second, was again, another crucial controversial call that went against the Braves in the series. With two on and one out and a weakly hit groundball, González elected to go to second, throwing it high, causing Omar Infante to edge up, however, the umpire ruled he came off the base.

    Left-handed Giants reliever Javier López entered the game with two outs in the eighth, and pinch-runner Nate McLouth as the tying run at second base, and struck out Jason Heyward. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Braves had one last chance to rally. With one out, Giants closer Brian Wilson walked Rick Ankiel and Eric Hinske to put the winning run on base. However, Omar Infante struck out swinging and Melky Cabrera grounded out to end the game and the series.

    This was Braves manager Bobby Cox's last game. After the game ended, he came out of the dugout briefly to acknowledge the fans. He was greeted with loud cheers from the entire stadium, as well as an ovation from the Giants' players and coaches.

    Composite line score

    2010 NLDS (3–1): San Francisco Giants over Atlanta Braves


    2010 National League Division Series Wikipedia

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