PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. wore his Phillies jacket Sunday, partly to show team pride, but mostly to spare him from the champagne and beer flying around the visitors' clubhouse at Great American Ball Park.
He worked his way around the room, congratulating players on another step toward a 2010 World Series championship.
The Phillies swept the Reds in the best-of-five National League Division Series to advance to their third consecutive NL Championship Series.
They got there because of incredible pitching against the best offensive team in the league. The Phils allowed just 11 hits against the Reds to set a Division Series record. The Yankees held the previous mark, when they allowed just 13 hits to the Rangers in the 1998 American League Division Series.
"It's hard to explain," Amaro said. "It was extraordinary. They rose to the occasion. They're good pitchers. But for them to perform under these circumstances in the postseason in this atmosphere is pretty extraordinary."
Philadelphia did not score runs in bunches, but it scored enough against a hard-throwing pitching staff that impressed Amaro.
"That's about as good a pitching performance on the other side as we've seen," he said. "They were all fantastic. They're going to be good for a long time. They've got some great, great young arms. They're going to be a formidable opponent for a lot of years to come. I think we're a better offensive team than we've shown so far, but you have to give credit to their pitching staff. This is an outstanding staff that pitched against us."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel agreed.
"Do I want us to score more runs? Of course. And we're definitely capable of it. I'm always positive. When we start [hitting], somebody is in trouble."
Amaro also marveled at Cole Hamels' performance in Game 3 on Sunday. He allowed just five hits and struck out nine in his first postseason shutout.
"His performance did all the talking," Amaro said. "Cole Hamels is as good a makeup guy as we have. He's as good a competitor as we have. Everybody puts Roy Halladay at the top, but Cole's right there with him."
It has Amaro feeling good about his team entering the NLCS.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.