Phillips couldn’t see; Reds sweep
One down moment came from a solid three-game series sweep for the Reds.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and center fielder Shin-Soo Choo were involved in a fifth-inning outfield collision during Sunday’s 7-4 win over the Cubs. While Choo appeared to come away with only a fat lip from the incident, Phillips exited in the eighth inning when manager Dusty Baker came out of the dugout and took him off of the field. Cesar Izturis replaced Phillips and quickly fielded a grounder his way.
“He couldn’t see,” Baker said of Phillips. “I took him out. He said he couldn’t see that ball on the sacrifice fly that he hit [in the seventh]. When a guy says he can’t see, especially with all the left-handed hitters coming up, the next play would have been to Brandon. We have to protect these guys. There’s a long way to go. I think he’s OK. We’ll see.”
When asked how he felt after the game, Phillips was quiet and somewhat elusive.
“I’m living,” Phillips said. “Whatever Dusty says, that’s what happened.”
In the fifth following back-to-back singles against Mat Latos, Alfonso Soriano hit a fly to shallow center field. Choo came running in for the ball as second baseman Phillips backpedaled before the two collided. The ball skipped off of Phillips’ glove and hit Choo’s face for what was ruled a two-run double.
“It looked ugly there but this wind plays havoc with the ball,” Baker said. “I saw Choo break back and I knew we were in trouble.”
Both players needed time to be looked over by trainers before continuing. There was a lot of crowd noise from the 33,449 fans as the play developed but it wasn’t clear who called for the ball.
“I go out there as far as I can to try and catch every ball until somebody says ‘I’ve got it,’” Phillips said. “It happened between me and Drew Stubbs a couple of years, the same thing happened. It happened again today. But things happen. I’m just happy we had a great road trip. I will be OK. I’m happy we won the game and won the [road] series for the first time. … I play hurt all the time. Things happen. I will be in there tomorrow.”
No. 3 star: Todd Frazier – 2-for-3, BB, 2 RBI
No. 2 star: Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-5, SB, run — it was his league-best 14th multi-hit game of the season.
No. 1 star: Joey Votto – 3-for-5, 2 doubles, RBI, run — Eight game hitting streak.
*Not a bad way to end the road trip. The Reds finished 5-5.
“It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a lot from where we came from. We did finish strong,” Baker said.
*It was the season-high fourth-straight non-quality start for the Reds’ rotation.
*Mat Latos’ streak of 21 scoreless innings ended in the fifth inning. It tied his career-high and was the most for a Reds starting pitcher since Denny Neagle in 2000. Latos was pitching under the weather.
“I’ve been sick the past couple of days and not feeling well,” Latos said. “I woke up this morning throwing up. Oh well.”
*Donald Lutz notched his first Major League hit with a single up the middle in the seventh. Earlier in that very AB, Lutz appeared to be grazed on the left ankle/foot for a HBP. But it wasn’t called and he and Baker argued to no avail. Lutz got his first RBI in the eighth on a fielder’s choice play with the bases loaded. Moments later, came Lutz’s first stolen base.
*J.J. Hoover notched the save in the ninth. Jonathan Broxton, who pitched the last two games, and Aroldis Chapman, who threw 51 pitches in the last two games weren’t available. Hoover escaped with the tying run at the plate.
“Now we’ve got a strong Broxton and a strong Chapman,” Baker said.