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MLB playoffs

Brandon Phillips bats during a game against Pittsburgh in 2015.

There’s always next year: A case for the 2017 Cincinnati Reds

Like mad scientists blending hazardous chemicals, the mix concocted by this Reds brain trust was a combustible blend that very nearly exploded in historic fashion, but appears now to be a super juice that has Joey Votto batting nearly .450 since the All-Star break, Brandon Phillips poised to post his best offensive numbers in about five years and a pitching staff that now at least on borders on respectable.