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.”

Three stars:

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.

Notes:

*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.

7 Comments

That collision could have been prevented. It was Choo’s catch, as he was coming in on it. Phillips was going back. Someone should have called Phillips off.
A catch would have been the 3rd out. It took several more pitches to get the 3rd out.
A little later there was almost another collision. Paul was coming in on a short fly ball. Cosart was going back. Paul and Cosart stopped and the ball fell safely. It appeared that Paul could have caught the ball if Cosart had backed off.
That collision prevented a quality start for Latos.
I don’t know if anyone agrees with me, but that’s the way I saw them.. At least, the REDS won.

BTW…you are absolutely correct; this oddity between Choo and Phillips disallowed Latos to continue his streak and for that matter, another potential QS. The good news is that we don’t play for records, we play for team wins. One last note: I am sure that Choo and Phillips will discuss this issue in their own time; obviously in order to avoid any further ‘blurry’ events or ‘fat lips’.

Phillips goes back for every ball he thinks he can catch, until CALLED OFF. I don’t think Choo called Brandon off; at least on the replay I didn’t see his lips move. Choo easily could have caught the ball had he initially called Brandon OFF. In this case, I think Choo made a mistake.

The outfielder has precedent over the infielder. In this case, Choo’s first move was back then forward. He was a bit too deep. At the same time, Phillips was drifting out trying to get the ball. The “collision” was Phillilps tripping over Choo’s leg. And, now it’s “I can’t see?” LOL … what an excuse. Phillips had the ball in his glove … took his eye off of it … and it fell in … to Choo’s lip. Tough play, but, Phillips’ had the catch.

It was not in his glove…it glanced off of his glove…there’s a difference. It seemed to be one of those plays that no one is sure they can get so no one makes the call. Hopefully, there are no lasting effects.

Sometimes things just happen. It was one of those balls that Choo initially misread and took a step back and with the wind blowing in it made it more difficult. Nobody is going to call for a ball they are not sure they are going to catch. Both of them didn’t seem sure that they knew they had it so no one called for it. Should it have been caught? Absolutely. Should they have collided. No. However, sometimes stuff happens. Hopefully, they talk about it so next time they know what to do to at least avoid the collision. It’s too bad Latos got tagged for 3 earned runs but at least he and more importantly the team won. The individual stats are nice but there is always stuff that is unfortunate that way. Both lucky and unlucky. Usually, it evens out over time. Luckily, no one seems to be too hurt. I’m wondering if BP has a concussion. Not being able to see is scary especially since he stayed in the game for 3-4 innings. How do you hit a fly ball to the outfield when you can’t see? Glad Dusty took him out when he did, but it sounds like he should have been taken out right away. Hopefully, BP is ok today … but you don’t need to be a hero if you’re not. Get some rest and make sure you’re ok … if you have lingering problems. It’s a long season!

Weither Brandon or Choo called for it, it doesn’t matter because neither of them probably heard it or would have heard it over all the screaming and yelling anyway. I guess as the season goes on and they play together more and more they can both gauge each others capabilities as to how far each of them can cover.

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