Game one of the NLDS was a thing of beauty we’re all going to remember for a long time, but it might take just as long to purge game two from our minds. The Phils won an ugly one, topping the Reds 7-4 as the teams combined to make six errors.
Oswalt didn’t have it from the start. Brandon Phillips hit his fourth pitch of the game out to left to put Cincinnati up 1-0. Utley made a pair of errors in the top of the second that helped the Reds score another run and go up 2-0. Bruce hit a long homer off of Oswalt in the fourth. 3-0. Phillips started the fifth with a double and came in to score on a ground out, so it was 4-0 when the Phils got to work offensively. They scored two runs in the fifth with the help of errors from Phillips and Rolen. 4-2. Cincinnati relievers hit two batters in the sixth and they scored again. 4-3. The game turned on a misplay in the seventh in which the Reds made two errors on the same play. With one out and men on first and second, Rollins hit a sinking liner to right that Bruce just missed. Drew Stubbs backed the play up well, but Phillips dropped his relay throw and both runners scored, putting the Phils ahead 5-4. The Phils would score again in the inning and once more in the eighth when the Reds walked two batters intentionally.
The Phillies scored seven runs in the game without an extra-base hit. The Reds made four errors, hit three batters, had a runner picked off of first base and walked two intentionally.
Oswalt may have struggled in the game, but there was good news for the pitching staff as well as Romero, Durbin, Contreras, Madson and Lidge combined to allow one hit and two walks over four shutout innings.
The Phillies lead the best-of-five NLDS with the Reds two games to one after beating Cincinnati 7-4 last night.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Only three of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out five.
He faced a Cincinnati lineup that went (1) Brandon Phillips (2B/R) (2) Orlando Cabrera (SS/R) (3) Joey Votto (1B/L) (4) Scott Rolen (3B/R) (5) Laynce Nix (LF/L) (6) Jay Bruce (RF/L) (7) Drew Stubbs (CF/R) (8) Ryan Hanigan (C/R). Two changes from the game one lineup — Nix plays left instead of Gomes and Hanigan catches Arroyo with Hernandez on the bench. Three lefties in four spots in the order for the Reds at 3, 5 and 6 in the lineup.
Cincinnati started the game with six players on their bench, lefty Juan Francisco and righties Ramon Hernandez, Jonny Gomes, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.
Phillips took ball one and ball two to start the game. Oswalt walked around the mound a little before he delivered strike one. The next pitch was out over the plate and Phillips crushed it out to left, putting the Reds up 1-0. Cabrera popped to short on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Oswalt didn’t get the call on a close 2-2 pitch that must have been inside, but Votto swung through the 3-2 offering for the second out. Rolen swung at the first pitch and popped to Utley.
Oswalt threw 17 pitches in the first inning.
Nix got ahead 2-0 to start the second and then hit a 3-2 pitch hard towards right field. Utley made a nice play to get to the ball, but his throw pulled Howard off of first and Nix was safe on the error. Bruce flew to left on an 0-1 pitch for the first out. Oswalt’s first pitch to Stubbs bounced before the plate and went off of Ruiz’s chest for a wild pitch, allowing Nix to take second. Stubbs walked on a 3-2 pitch outside, putting men on first and second for Hanigan. Hanigan fisted a double-play ball to short on a 2-2 pitch. Rollins tossed to Utley for the second out, but Utley’s relay to first was up the right field line and Howard couldn’t reach it. Utley had his second error in the inning, Nix scored to make it 2-0 and Hanigan took second. Oswalt struck the pitcher Arroyo out looking 0-2 to end the frame.
After throwing 25 pitches in the inning, Oswalt had thrown 42 for the game.
Phillips led off the third and singled to center on a 1-0 pitch. Cabrera was next and hit the first pitch he saw hard between third and short and into left for a single that sent Phillips to second. Votto flew to left on a 2-2 pitch for the first out and Oswalt struck out Rolen and Nix, getting Rolen swinging on 1-2 change up and Nix swinging 2-2, to leave both runners stranded.
Eighteen pitches in the inning for Oswalt. Sixty for the game.
Bruce started the fourth and blasted an 0-1 pitch way out to right. 3-0. Stubbs struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch that was outside for the first out. Hanigan ripped a 1-1 pitch just foul down the right field line before hitting a 1-2 pitch to short. Rollins fielded on the outfield grass and dropped the ball, but picked it up and made a strong throw to first to get Hanigan for the second out. Arroyo swung at the first pitch and lined to left.
Oswalt was at 71 for the game after an 11-pitch fourth.
Phillips started the fifth with a double down the left field line. Righty Paul Janish hit for Cabrera, who was injured turning a double-play to end the fourth. Janish put down a nice bunt on the first pitch he saw, moving Phillips to third with one out. Votto blasted an 0-1 pitch to left, but Ibanez took it at the wall for the second out with Phillips tagging and scoring easily to make it 4-0. Rolen swung at the first pitch and hit a ball that Oswalt fielded and threw to first for the third out.
Votto crushed his ball. Just five pitches for Oswalt, who would be pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth. He threw 76 pitches in the game.
Romero started the sixth with the Cincinnati lead cut to 4-2. Nix grounded to Romero for the first out and Bruce lined softly to third for the second. Durbin came on to pitch to the righty Stubbs. Durbin got behind 3-0 and walked Stubbs on a 3-2 pitch that was low. Durbin picked Stubbs off of first before offering to Hanigan, ending the frame.
Nifty start to the post-season for Romero. Nice move by Durbin.
Contreras pitched the seventh with the Phils within a run at 4-3. Hanigan led off and grounded to second on a 1-2 pitch. Heisey, who had been double-switched into the game for Nix in the bottom of the sixth, was next and Contreras struck him out swinging 1-2. Phillips swung at the first pitch and popped to Utley for the third out.
Madson started the eighth with a 6-4 lead. Janish swung at the first pitch and lined a ball to short that Rollins short-hopped. Rollins threw to first for the first out. Votto was next and lined a 1-1 pitch to right for a single. Madson struck Rolen out swinging 2-2 at a high fastball for the second out. Ramon Hernandez, who had double-switched into the game with Nick Masset in the bottom of the seventh, was next. Madson’s first pitch to him was outside and in the dirt for a wild pitch that allowed Votto to move to second. Hernandez flew to center on a 1-2 pitch to leave Votto at second.
Rolen was 0-for-7 in the series with five strikeouts.
Lidge started the ninth with a 7-4 lead and walked Bruce on a 3-2 pitch. Stubbs flew to center for the first out, though, and Miguel Cairo hit for the pitcher Nick Masset and flew to center as well. Heisey was next with two outs and a man on first. He hit a 1-0 pitch hard to third, but Polanco made a nice play to field the ball and threw to first to end the game.
Four shutdown innings for the pen in relief of Oswalt. Madson threw 16 pitches, Lidge 13, Contreras 11. Durbin and Romero each threw six pitches. You’d have to guess everyone will be available for game three with the off-day Saturday.
The Phillies lineup against righty Bronson Arroyo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Ibanez (8) Ruiz. Polanco returns to the starting lineup after missing game one with a back problem. I didn’t expect that Manuel would drop Rollins out of the leadoff spot in the order, but he sure did. It makes it easier to mock the Reds for hitting Phillips leadoff when the Phils don’t put Victorino and his 18 homers in the leadoff spot. Ibanez should hit in front of Rollins — I don’t know why you would hit him seventh and Rollins sixth against anyone, but especially not against a righty. Rollins hit 218/297/360 against righties this year and Ibanez 277/366/455 I heard Matt Gelb explain on the pre-game show say that Manuel did that to prevent a lefty (like Rhodes or Chapman) from going 3-4-5-6 with just one right-handed batter in Werth. That’s over thought, though, and Ibanez should be hitting sixth.
The Phillies bench had seven offensive players to start the game, lefties Brian Schneider, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown and Greg Dobbs and righties Ben Francisco, Mike Sweeney and Wilson Valdez.
The Phils started the first down 1-0. Victorino popped a 1-0 pitch up to Votto, who took it in foul territory near the Phillies dugout. Polanco took strike one and then took strike two before popping to Cabrera in short center field. Utley hit a 2-1 pitch hard to right, but Bruce took it after a short run to end the inning.
Arroyo threw nine pitches in the inning.
They were losing 2-0 when they hit in the second. Howard led off and singled into center. Werth flew to center on a 2-1 pitch for the first out. Rollins flew to left 1-1 for the second. Ibanez grounded softly to Cabrera with the count 2-2 to end the inning.
Arroyo threw 14 pitches in the inning and had thrown 23 for the game.
Ruiz took a 3-2 pitch low to start the third. Oswalt tried to bunt him to second, but popped the first pitch he saw up to Votto for the first out. Victorino hammered a 2-2 pitch on the inside part of the plate to right, but Bruce took it on the warning track for the second out. Polanco lined to left 1-1 to end the inning and leave Ruiz stranded.
Arroyo was up to 43 pitches for the game after throwing 20 in the inning.
Utley led off the fourth and struck out looking 1-2 for the first out. Howard walked on a 3-2 pitch and moved to second when Werth singled to right on a 2-2 pitch. Rollins swung at the first pitch and grounded hard to second. The Reds turned the double-play to end the inning.
Cabrera landed awkwardly taking the feed from Phillips and would leave the game in the bottom of the inning.
Sixteen pitches in the inning and 59 in the game for Arroyo.
The Cincinnati lead had been extended to 4-0 when the Phils hit in the fifth. Janish had taken over for Cabrera at short. Ibanez led off with a great 11-pitch at-bat, fouling off six pitches before singling into right with the count full. Ruiz flew to right on a 1-1 pitch for the first out and Brown hit for Oswalt. Brown took strike one, took strike two and then chopped a 1-2 pitch between third and short. Janish made a nice play, moving to his right, fielding and throwing to second for force Ibanez for the second out. Victorino hit a ball to second. Phillips slid on the ground trying to field it, but didn’t handle it cleanly. Victorino was safe on the error and Brown took second. Polanco hit an 0-1 pitch to Rolen and Rolen didn’t handle that one, either. He picked the ball up and threw to first, but Polanco beat it and the Phils had the bases loaded for Utley on the second error in two batters. Utley got ahead 2-0 and took a slow curve for a strike to make it 2-1. The next pitch was a changeup that Utley laced into right field for a single. Brown and Victorino both scored, cutting the lead to 4-2, with men on first and third for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.
Two errors for the Reds in the frame, but that’s still a big hit for Utley. All the errors made Arroyo work overtime. He threw 30 pitches in the inning and was at 89 for the game. Fantastic at-bat by Ibanez to get things started.
Werth walked on a 3-2 pitch that wasn’t close to start the sixth. Rollins took a 1-1 pitch just low. The 2-1 pitch looked high, but Arroyo got the call. Rollins popped the 2-2 pitch to Phillips for the first out. The Reds called on lefty Arthur Rhodes to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez fouled two balls off before striking out at an unhittable pitch on the outside corner for the second out. Ruiz got behind 1-2 and Werth stole second as the count went 2-2. It was a close play at second, but Phillips dropped the throw from Hanigan. Rhodes drilled Ruiz in the knee with a 2-2 fastball, putting men on first and second for Durbin’s spot. Francisco hit for Durbin and Cincinnati double-switched, bringing right Logan Ondrusek in to pitch to Francisco and sending Chris Heisey to left for Nix. Francisco stayed in to hit against the right-hander and the 1-1 pitch hit him in the bill of his helmet, loading the bases for Victorino. Victorino drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch that was high and outside, scoring Werth to make it 4-3. Polanco got behind 0-2 and hit a slow roller to third. Rolen handled it and threw to first to end the inning.
Francisco stays in to face the righty with Gload and Dobbs (and Schneider, who wasn’t going to hit) as lefties on the bench. I don’t think it was the right decision, but it didn’t cost the Phils. The Phillies score a run without a hit, getting two walks and two hit batters. Ondrusek had thrown 22 pitches in game one on Wednesday, two days earlier.
Lefty Aroldis Chapman started the bottom of the seventh for the Reds. Utley took a hundred miles per hour fastball for strike one and quickly got behind 0-2 before Chapman hit him on the hand with a ball way up and in. Howard was next. Swing and a miss a 100-mph fastball. Strike one. Swing and a miss at a 99-mph fastball. Strike two. Swing and a miss at a 101-mph fastball. Strike three. One out. Werth chopped a 2-2 pitch to third. Rolen had to move in to play it. He fielded and threw to second. It was a close play, but Utley was called safe. Rollins was next and he lined the first pitch he saw from Chapman to right. The ball was hit close to Bruce, but he lost it and just missed the ball. Stubbs backed the play up nicely, but Phillips dropped his relay and both Utley and Werth were able to score, putting the Phils up 5-4. It sure looked like Utley missed third base, but if he did the Reds didn’t notice. Rollins wound up on second for Ibanez. Ibanez lined an 0-1 pitch into right for a single, moving Rollins to third. Ruiz got behind 0-2 and hit a ball to short. Janish had to move to his right before fielding it — he threw to second for one out, but there was no relay to first. Rollins scored from third and the Phils were up 6-4. Sweeney hit for Contreras, making his post-season debut, and dropped a single into shallow left-center. It put men on first and second for Victorino and righty Nick Masset came in to pitch to him. Victorino swung at the first pitch and grounded to second to end the inning.
Whole lot of almosts in the inning for Utley. The pitch from Chapman almost didn’t hit him, just getting his hand. A few inches in the wrong direction and it could have ended his season. He was almost out at second on the ball hit to Rolen (he probably was). He almost missed third (he did). The game changed on the ball that Rollins hit and the errors by Bruce and Phillips on the play.
Masset was back to start the eighth and got Polanco to fly to right for the first out. Utley was next and lined a single to right. He was running when Masset delivered the first pitch to Howard, which was at Howard’s legs. Utley was safe at second and Howard walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for Werth. Werth singled into left, scoring Utley to make it 7-4 with Howard moving to second. Rollins chopped a ball high back to the mound. Masset fielded and turned towards second, then whirled and threw to first in time to get Rollins as the runners moved to second and third. The righty Masset walked the lefty Ibanez intentionally, loading the bases for Ruiz. Ruiz grounded to short on a 1-0 pitch for the third out.
Not quite sure how Rollins wasn’t safe at first on the slow-developing play on his high chopper. Two is a lot of intentional walks for an inning. The Reds had used lefties Rhodes and Chapman already in the game. The lefty Wood was presumably not available after a long outing in game one, but Bill Bray had thrown just 15 pitches in the series opener.
The bullpen for the Reds went 2 2/3 innings in the game, allowing four runs, only one of which was earned. Masset threw 29 pitches in the game, Chapman 21, Ondrusek 11 and Rhodes eight. Ondrusek has pitched in each of the first two games in the series.
The Phillies scored seven runs in the game without an extra-base hit.
Victorino was 0-for-4 in the game with an RBI and a run scored. 2-for-8 in the series with a double.
Polanco was 0-for-5 and left four men on base. He went 0-for-17 for the Tigers in the 2006 World Series in his most recent playoff action.
Utley was 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and two throwing errors. 2-for-7 in the series.
Howard 1-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts. 1-for-7 with four strikeouts in the set.
Werth 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He looked a whole lot better than he did in a miserable game one. He’s 2-for-8.
Rollins 0-for-5 with four men left on base. The game changed on the line drive he hit to Bruce in the seventh. He’s 0-for-8 in the series.
Ibanez 2-for-4 with a walk. 3-for-8.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and five men left on base. 0-for-4 with three walks in the series.
Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.06) faces righty Johnny Cueto (12-7, 3.64) in game three on Sunday. Cueto was hammered by the Brewers on September 22, charged with eight runs in 1 1/3 innings. That’s the only time in his last seven starts he’s allowed more than three earned runs in a game. He faced the Phils twice this year and was good both times, holding them to two earned runs in 15 innings (1.20 ERA and an 0.93 ratio). He has similar numbers against righties and lefties for the year and was a little better a home than on the road, going 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.22 ratio at home and 6-4 with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.33 ratio on the road. Hamels allowed five runs to the Mets in five innings on September 25, which is the only time in his last eight starts he’s allowed more than two runs in an outing. After throwing to a 5.28 ERA in his first five starts of the season, he has gone 10-9 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.12 ratio over his last 28 appearances.
Cabrera says he may play in game three.