The mascot for the Cincinnati Reds looks on during Game Five of the National League Division Series at Great American Ball Park. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI - The Reds' 2012 season ended Thursday when the San Francisco Giants beat Cincinnati 6-4 in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
Despite the early end to their team's season, Reds fans have a lot to be proud of after they watched their team win 97 games during the regular season and earn its first playoff victory in 17 years.
"You know we battled, and it’s not sitting good right now, but it’s something to build on," Reds third baseman Todd Frazier said.
Frazier is part of a young core of players expected to keep fans cheering at Great American Ball Park for years to come.
"I would like to have everybody back, this is a great core group, and we're a big family here,” Frazier said.
Reds Game 5 starter Mat Latos was admittedly off his game Thursday. But the Reds right-hander is part of a young starting pitching staff that had one of the best seasons in recent team history.
“[Latos is] going to be around this league for a long time. He's got really good stuff," said Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick. "He's a competitor and he's done a tremendous job for the team this year."
The Reds had four starting pitchers throw more than 200 innings for the first time since 1943.
The team’s starting staff had a team ERA of 3.64, the team's best such mark since the 1992 season.
Reds fans also have multiple years of looking forward to watching stars like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Both players signed long-term contract extensions in 2012.
“It’s a disappointing time for us, but other than that, all you can do is smile and look forward to next year," Phillips said.
The Reds open the 2013 schedule Monday, April 1 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
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