Re: Is it OK to call it a choke and still be proud of them?
Just because they lost doesn't mean they choked. There is a big difference that some folks don't seem to understand.
Choking means to cave in under the pressure of a stressful situation.
The Reds didn't wilt under the pressure at all. They fought like crazy. They pitched great (even without their ace), made very few mistakes in the field (the couple they did make were key though because the games were so close), and battled hard at the plate every inning. They played well and fought like warriors and lost by the thinnest of margins to another excellent baseball team. They didn't choke at all.
If they hadn't played well you could say they choked. If they had given the games away you could say they choked. If they failed to play hard or were intimidated you could say they choked. None of those things happened so it is not fair nor accurate to say they choked. They just got beaten by a top-notch opponent in a very tight series. No shame in that.