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10 things to know about the enemy

Cincinnati didn’t get to the playoffs by accident.<br />

10 Rock the Votto — Joey Votto is an all-world talent and should win NL MVP easily. Votto challenged for the Triple Crown, finishing second in average (.324), third in homers (37) and third in RBIs (113). Ironically, Charlie Manuel left Votto off the All-Star roster in favor of Ryan Howard.

9 Hit the bench — The Reds have such a strong bench that Jim Edmonds may not even make the final playoff roster. Their 10 pinch-hit home runs left them tied with Atlanta for the best mark in the majors.

8 Playing the field — At .988, the Reds were tied for the best fielding percentage in the NL. The team set a club record with just 72 errors, down 17 from last year.

7 Heat of the moment — Last month, left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman threw the fastest pitch ever recorded in a major-league game, at 105 mph. Chapman (2-2, 2.02 ERA) threw 25 pitches that night — all of them topped 100 mph. He’s filthy.

6 Pen pals — In addition to Chapman, the Reds have three other lefties — Travis Wood, Arthur Rhodes, Bill Bray — to combat the Phillies’ lefty-laden lineup. And the Reds’ bullpen led the majors with 34 wins.

5 Rolen on a river — Former Phillie Scott Rolen enjoyed a resurrection of sorts, batting .285 with 20 homers while protecting Votto in the cleanup spot. Rolen also brings experience, having played in 32 playoff games.

4 Power surge — Cincinnati’s offense was the best in the NL, leading the league in home runs (188), RBIs (761), total bases (2,432), batting average (.272) and slugging (.436).

3 Manager on duty — Skipper Dusty Baker has taken three different teams to the postseason (Giants, Reds, Cubs) and has been Manager of the Year three times. Baker, who is 17-19 in the postseason, won the 2002 NL pennant.

2 Keeping it close — Even though they went 2-5 against the Phillies in the regular season, the Reds battled. Four of those seven games were decided by one run.

1 Edinson’s alley — Edinson Volquez had limited opportunities this season, appearing in just 12 games after returning from Tommy John surgery in mid-July. But the hard-throwing righty has owned the Phillies in his short career, holding down an 0.73 ERA while striking out 16 in 121/3 innings.

 
 
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