Messy, or was it sloppy?
The Reds should have left town with a split and they knew it. Mistakes galore cost them two leads and culminated in a 9-6 loss to the Phillies. That meant dropping three of four in the series.
There were leads of 3-0 and 6-4 that became dust in the wind because of self inflicted gaffes.
In the third inning, Chase Utley hit a two-out inside-the-park homer to center field. Willy Taveras was too close to the wall when the ball caromed and Chris Dickerson wasn’t backing up from right field.
In the fourth inning, a Shane Victorino liner spun off of Brandon Phillips’ glove and scored two runs.
Reds starter Micah Owings gave up seven earned runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings with four walks and a strikeout. He threw 97 pitches.
In the decisive fifth inning that included four walks from three pitchers and only two hits, reliever Josh Roenicke was late covering first base on Paul Bako’s would-be inning-ending double play. Three runs scored in the inning and put the Reds away.
Quotes from Dusty Baker:
“You can’t be walking people, not in this ballpark against that lineup. They’re already tough enough to get out. They don’t need any help.”
“Young Roenicke was late breaking to the bag and didn’t get to the bag and that cost us three runs.”
“It’s just disheartening. We should have at least come out of here with a split.”
From Phillips on the liner off of his glove:
“It was knuckling and I almost caught it. It was the toughest one. If it was higher, it would have been easier to catch. When it’s at your ankles, it’s hard to catch those balls. I didn’t even feel the ball touch my glove, to tell you the truth. I wish I would have caught it. if it was any other person out there, I felt they would have done the same thing I did. It was just a tough break.”
This loss also put 41-43 Cincinnati into fifth place, 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis. The Reds need a good weekend at New York to get some momentum into the break.
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