Results tagged ‘ Brandon Phillips ’

Errors sting big time, down 0-2

The Reds gave away their 7-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 2 of the NLDS, no bones about it. They had a 4-0 lead. They had knocked out their nemesis in Roy Oswalt. They had control of the game. It slipped out of their hands.

Seven unanswered runs — five were unearned because of four errors. It’s the salt that stings the defeat all the more.

The Jay Bruce missed catch on Jimmy Rollins’ fly ball in the seventh was the big one. Bruce catches that ball and the Reds can still hang on.

This is my game story

Here are some quotes:

“It was in the lights the whole time. I tried to stick with it to see if it would come out. It never did. It’s pretty helpless. It’s embarrassing. I take a lot of pride in my defense. There’s really nothing I can do about it. I wish for my team more than anything that it didn’t go into the lights or that it came out and I could have caught it. It didn’t happen.” — Jay Bruce

“Well, you could tell it was in the lights, because Jay’s played Golden Glove outfielder, and he didn’t come close to catching that ball.  From being an outfielder, you can tell when the ball gets in the lights.  Yeah, definitely that ball got in the lights at the wrong time.” — Dusty Baker

“It’s hard to give a lineup like that four extra outs and not expect to get beat.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Things happen. This team has battled the entire year. We play such great defense. It’s unfortunate. We are trying our best. It seemed like we’re swinging the bats better. Hopefully on Sunday we can bounce back.” — Orlando Cabrera

“You leave the door open that many times to those guys and they’re going to keep putting pressure on you. Then things start happening. The balls were hit to us. We had plays and we didn’t make them.” — Scott Rolen

Postgame notes —

*Orlando Cabrera left after the fourth inning with a sore left oblique. He hoped to be able to play on Sunday.

“I saw the doctor and he said it didn’t look that bad. We’ll see tomorrow how I feel,” Cabrera said.

*The debacle of the seventh inning started when Chase Utley acted his way through a hit-by-pitch from Aroldis Chapman. The pitch was 101 mph, Utley didn’t sell it that well but it was enough to be awarded first base.

“I don’t think at any time that the ball hit him. I don’t think he ever got hit,” Chapman said.

“It was pretty close,” Utley said. “At first I thought it was going to hit me in my head.  Fortunately, it didn’t.  And he throws so hard.  I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first.”

 Q.  Did it hit you?  CHASE UTLEY:  “I’m not sure.” 

*Scott Rolen is 0-for-7 with five K’s in the two games so far.

*Brandon Phillips’ leadoff home run in the first inning ended a 30-scoreless innings streak at

Citizens Bank Park going back to July 9. Phillips had only the second leadoff postseason homer in Reds history. Pete Rose also did it in World Series Game 5 at Oakland on 10/20/72.

*The six errors were a League Division Series record. The Reds four errors tied the record for most errors in a single LDS game.

See you Saturday from Cincinnati. Workout at GABP in the afternoon.

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Postgame: Wood a playoff starter?

Rookie Travis Wood did nothing tonight to make me believe he shouldn’t start in the best-of-five NLDS, especially if the Reds end up facing the lefty-hitting heavy Phillies.

Wood’s line: 6.1 ip, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Two of his runs were given up with Logan Ondrusek on the mound.

Philadelphia will feature  Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez — all left-handed. Rollins and Victorino are switch-hitters.With a short series, it would seem more conventional that the Reds go with three starters. Or do they take four?

If only three starters go for the Reds? Who gets exiled to the bullpen?

Edinson Volquez seems to have a hot hand. Bronson Arroyo isn’t going anywhere. Wood has two walks allowed with 24 strikeouts over his last four starts (24 1/3 innings).

What about Johnny Cueto? He has a 1.20 ERA vs. the Phillies in two starts this season. But he is 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA over his last six starts of the regular season. After his mostly solid year, could he actually not start in the first round of the postseason? What becomes of Homer Bailey?

It’s a tough call and I don’t envy Dusty Baker and Bryan Price. What would you do?

Quick notes —

*Friday’s 4-3 Reds loss in 11 innings does not guarantee a NLDS with the Phillies but it did assure them of starting the playoffs on the road — either at Philly or the NL West winner.
If the NL West leading Giants or Padres get the Wild Card away from the Braves, that team would get the Phillies.

*The Brandon Phillips E4 on Casey McGehee’s grounder in the 11th was changed to a RBI single. Phillips was screened some by the umpire, which was why the change was made by the official scorer postgame.

*A string of 22-straight retired for the bullpen was snapped on Craig Counsell’s single of Logan Ondrusek in the seventh inning that went as a blown save.

*Scott Rolen’s exit in the fifth was pre-planned before the game to preserve him for the playoffs. Rolen will not start Saturday, Dusty Baker said.

 

Postgame quotes –

“He pitched good. He threw the ball pretty good and was down in the strike zone and ahead of the hitters. I think he threw a very good ballgame. It’s one of those games you get bad luck. There’s nothing you can do. It won’t be the first or last time it happens.” — Ramon Hernandez on Travis Wood

“That seventh inning, things kind of happened. He had 103 pitches and he usually doesn’t go quite the long. He was still looking good that inning. We just kind of let that one get away from us tonight.” — Dusty Baker on Wood.

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Trying again to clinch

Tues lineup vs. HOU

Stubbs 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Volquez 1

 

*The Reds clinch with a victory tonight. If they lose, they’ll have to wait out the end of the Cardinals-Pirates game (8:15 pm ET first pitch).

*Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez is a tough left-hander but is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts vs. the Reds this season.  However on July 25 in Houston, he pitched seven scoreless innings with one hit for a 4-0 win. On Sept. 17, he gave up three runs, three hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts for a no-decision in a 5-3 Astros win.

*Jonny Gomes is 7-for-18 (.389) with two homers and nine RBIs vs. Rodriguez

*Jay Bruce is 1-for-17 (.059) with 10 strikeouts, so that’s a little surprising. Bruce was also bothered by a sore right side again Sunday but its OK. 

“I feel good, I feel ready to go,” Bruce said. “I haven’t faced Wandy much lately just because we’ve played the matchup a little bit but I feel that I have improved off of lefthanders and proven myself a little more to where he can put me in there. But it was Dusty’s decision and I appreciate the fact that he has the confidence in me to let me get in.”

*Dusty Baker said Sunday he was going to put Brandon Phillips back to leadoff but appeared to change his mind.

*Not surprisingly, there is a larger media gathering at GABP than usual. I’d guess that it rivals what we normally have on Opening Day. There is a definite vibe on anticipation in the area. Baker acknowledged it’s a different day.

“It’s a day where you strive to get to this point for so very long,” Baker said. “You run this race and you’re one step from the finish line. You’re full of anticipation and desire to finish it tonight. It’s great we’re in a position to do this at home. I’ve done it both ways. It’s a lot more fun and a lot more exhilarating when you can do it in front of your fans, friends and family. It’s a great feeling.”

Scott Rolen is a veteran of some clinches and was looking forward as well, but wasn’t looking ahead too much.

“We still have to play baseball. I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer,” Rolen said. “We’ll go out and play and hopefully get us a win tonight instead of waiting to see what [the Cardinals] do. We’ll get in here, put some tarps up, put on some terrible music on and get some champagne going.”

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Votto in, Phillips moved down

Sat. lineup vs SD

Stubbs 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Phillips 4
Hernandez 2
Wood 1

*Brandon Phillips is batting .145 (12-for-83) in his last 20 games since returning from being hit on the right hand by a pitch. He was 0-for-4 with a walk but clearly frustrated in the sixth when he fouled out to first base and left runners on first and second.

*Joey Votto is starting for the first time since Monday. Votto was taking some Vitamin C and said he felt better. He had a tough assignment last night pinch-hitting in the ninth inning vs. Padres closer Heath Bell

“I just hadn’t had an at-bat in a while or hit on the field,” Votto said. “That type of stuff tends to help. I felt like a fish out of water there. But I’m sure I will be fine today.”

*Check this out from the Reds:

One of Aroldis Chapman’s pitches to Tony Gwynn Jr. last night reached 105.1 on the Pitch/FX system, the fastest speed ever reliably recorded.Chapman threw 7 pitches to Gwynn in that AB.  The average speed was 103.2 mph.

Called Strike    102.6
Ball    103.7
Foul    102.5
Foul    104.1
Ball    105.1
Foul    103.1
Called Strike    101.5

*Courtesy Trent McCotter, SABR
Fastest pitches on record, beginning with 2006 postseason, using Pitch/fX

105.1 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. SD 9/24/2010, facing Tony Gwynn Jr.

104.8 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. OAK, 10/10/2006, facing Frank Thomas
103.9 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 9/1/2010, facing Jonathan Lucroy
103.8 mph: Aroldis Chapman, CIN v. MIL, 9/1/2010, facing Jonathan Lucroy
103.4 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. OAK, 10/10/2006, facing Frank Thomas
103.4 mph: Joel Zumaya, DET v. OAK, 10/10/2006, facing Jay Payton
103.4 mph: Neftali Feliz, TEX v. KC, 9/1/2010, facing Mike Aviles 

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Momentum in Milwaukee?

Give the Reds and manager Dusty Baker some credit for being humble about the postseason stuff. They, especially Baker, don’t talk much about it and won’t until there is an official clinch.

The Reds aren’t playing lately like a team about to clinch. It’s a crew that really needs some momentum after being 7-11 so far this month. They are 1-3-1 through four series this month.

Much of this can be attributed to having some key players banged up (ie: Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips) and a stretch of 20-straight games without a day off (one is coming Thursday).

Although Baker will try to rest guys selectively, you can expect the Reds to want to keep their collective feet on the gas to the end of the regular season.

Getting some sort of home field advantage via a No. 1 or 2 seed will be paramount. Right now if the season ended today, the Reds would take on the Wild Card leading Braves. Correction — the Reds would face the Phillies. They are tied for the NL’s second-best record with the Giants, which holds the tiebreaker. Here is a breakdown of the current postseason scenarios. 

 

If the Reds faced the best record holding Phillies, they’d get H2O trifecta of Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt.

Some notes –

*Reds starting pitchers have a 2.92 ERA over the last 11 games. No one has allowed more than three earned runs in a start during that stretch.

*The Brewers pitching staff is one of the Majors’ worst at 27th out of 30 teams. It is 14th in the NL.

*Joey Votto is batting .371 (13-for-35) during his nine-game hitting streak. His season high streak is 10 games.

*Jonny Gomes has 12 RBIs in 17 games this month.

*Drew Stubbs is hitting .370 with four homers in his last 13 games.

Monday lineup vs. MIL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*This would be a good chance for Phillips to escape his funk. He is 7-for-17 (.412) lifetime vs. Brewers starter Chris Capuano.

*It rained just before I drove to Miller Park and temperatures aren’t all that appealing. I’m betting that the roof will be closed tonight. It’s current shut as the field is being prepped for BP.

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Postgame: Wood good for playoffs?

Reds rookie LHP Travis Wood is trying to make a case for getting a spot on the Reds postseason rotation. On Tuesday, Wood pitched well but not great. He gave up nine hits and three runs over five innings with no walks and a career-high eight strikeouts.

Wood is 5-3 with a 3.46 ERA this season. Over his last six starts, he is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA.

With Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto locked in. Wood, Homer Bailey and Edinson Volquez will seek the other one or two spots in the rotation.

“I try not to think about it,” Wood said. He has a career-high 183 1/3 innings pitched this season.

Other notes —

*Got to give credit to Daniel Hudson because he flat out pitched great with eight scoreless innings. Since coming to the NL, Hudson is 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA in nine starts. The one loss was vs. the Reds in Arizona on Aug. 17.

*Ramon Hernandez was robbed of a potential game-winner in the ninth. He scored a bases-loaded drive to the right field gap that was snared with a great running catch by Justin Upton.

*Aaron Harang made his first relief appearance of the season in the ninth. After he walked leadoff batter Augie Ojeda, he caught him stealing and got two fly outs to left field.

*Sam LeCure pitched three scoreless innings of relief after Wood departed.

*Brandon Phillips is 1-for-his-last 19 after a 0-for-4, 2 K game.

*A Cardinals loss to the Cubs closed the Reds’ magic number to 12.

More quotes —

“With [Hernandez] I wasn’t playing so much to right field I was playing more to the gap because he drives balls out there. Once it came off the bat I knew I had a bead on it. Actually it kind of went up in the lights a little bit and I was a little hesitant whether I was going to catch it or not, but it came out once I got beyond the lights and I was able to snare it.” — Arizona RF Justin Upton

“He’s a good athlete and very fast. He got a good jump after I hit it. It was a great play. You have to tip your hat to a guy that can make a good catch like that, especially to end the game.” — Ramon Hernandez on Upton

“He had a lot of strikeouts but they centered some balls too at the right time, RBI time. Travis pitched pretty good.” — Dusty Baker on Travis Wood

“At the end of the day, 3-1 them. I need to go deeper in the ballgame, control pitches and get ahead of hitters.” — Travis Wood.

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Leadoff batter switcheroo

Weds lineup vs. COL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

*This is the 100th different lineup Dusty Baker has written out this season. There was a reason he put Drew Stubbs ahead of Brandon Phillips.

“Stubbs is swinging a little better than Brandon right now,” Baker said. “Hopefully Brandon in front of Joey will get some quality pitches to hit too. I’m going with the hot hand to try and ignite our engine. You got to have a key to every engine. These guys the last couple days – with Fowler and Young – you what speed at the top can do for you.”

*In the latest Jay Bruce update, he said he was feeling good. He was slated to take batting practice today with the team.

*Orlando Cabrera is out tonight because of some soreness. He is getting treatment.

*No decision has been made yet on who will start Saturday’s game vs. Pittsburgh.

*It doesn’t sound like Laynce Nix (sprained left ankle) will be ready to come off the disabled list when he’s eligible on Friday. Nix did not travel with the club.

“I heard today he’s not much better, they said,” Baker said. “It was disheartening because he’s a big part of our club – off the bench and spot playing against certain pitchers and defensively late in the game. He’s an important part of this team.”

*The Reds announced today that fans should be in their seats at GABP by 6:30pm on Saturday to watch honors for Pete Rose and the 25th anniversary of his record-breaking 4192nd hit. Gates open at 5:20 p.m. ET

*Well before batting practice started, Rockies coaches and former players Vinny Castilla and Glenallen Hill were raking in the cage with some home run balls. I asked Baker if he and Brook Jacoby ever get tempted to step into the cage.

“Hank [Aaron] told me not to do that when I first took this job,” Baker said. “He said sometimes you could deflate your players, if you haven’t played in a while, and all of sudden you’re hitting equal or better than they’re hitting. I remember one day we talked Frank Robinson into it. He got in the cage. He was hitting some missiles. Nobody wanted to go in after him.”

      
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Postgame: Cueto gets praise

This road trip is getting to be a little yucky for the Reds (that’s a clinical term professional writers use). A 4-3 loss to the Rockies made it a 1-4 on the trip with two games remaining.

The good —

*Johnny Cueto got tapped for three runs in the  first inning but deserves a lot of credit. Pitching with a heavy heart after losing an uncle he was close to, Cueto limited the damage and preserved his team’s bullpen and had a quality start.

“He threw the ball great. You hate for him to lose it and for us to lose it,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Cueto spent almost all of his time between starts in the Dominican Republic with his family. He found out about his uncle’s death prior to last Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee.

“He pitched the last game at home – six innings – when he knew something tragic had happened back in the Dominican,” Baker said. “He’s a strong young man. He came here to pitch. That day we were going to skip him at home and he said ‘no I want to pitch.'”

*Jonny Gomes kept the Reds close in the eighth with a big blast of a homer to left field. It was a two-out shot on a 3-2 count. Estimated distance was 412 feet but it seemed to go further. It definitely went high.

*Trevor Hoffman got his 600th save for the Brewers. Why is that good for the Reds? Milwaukee beat the Cardinals, 4-2, which kept the Reds’ division advantage to six games. It also lowered the magic number a notch to 20.

“Fortunately for us, we didn’t lose any ground,” Baker said. “It’s one less day on the schedule. It’s very important we need to win these next two games.”

The not-so-good —

*It wasn’t an exemplary night for Brandon Phillips, who struck out twice and grounded into a double play. He also got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Carlos Gonzalez made a great throw and it was a close play.

*The crusher was Phillips E4 in the sixth when he booted Seth Smith’s routine two-out grounder. Next batter Miguel Olivo followed with a RBI double. It proved to be the difference in the game.

*The error by Phillips was only his third of the season and ended a 63-game errorless streak since June 16.

More quotes –

“It was tough but I don’t take those things into the game. What happened, happened. I have it in my heart. When I go out there, I put my best on my job. This is my job.” — Johnny Cueto.

“Johnny Cueto, after the first three hitters of the game, bounced back and gave you a pretty good indication as to why he’s a 12-game winner.” — Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

“The first one was a broken bat hit. The second one was a 2-1 count and he was running. He got the ball was down where Fowler likes the ball. He threw a pretty good pitch to Gonzalez. Sometimes if the guys can hit, they can hit. It’s not always a mistake when you give up homers, especially to a quality hitter like that.” — Dusty Baker on Cueto’s first inning

   
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Cabrera starts

Sat lineup vs. STL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Hernandez 2
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Heisey 9
Wood 1

This season vs. Adam Wainwright, Joey Votto is 0-for-9 with four Ks. Ramon Hernandez is 3-for-4 with one RBI and he’s 4-for-7 lifetime. Brandon Phillips is 3-for-22 (.136) over his career against Wainwright.

*Orlando Cabrera is making his first start since Aug. 2 after he came off the DL yesterday.

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Phillips back in lineup

Fri lineup vs STL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Hanigan 2
Heisey 9
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

*Phillips is back in the starting lineup for the first time since he was drilled on the right hand by a pitch Aug. 25 at San Francisco. He made three pinch-running appearances since. Baker isn’t expected a warm reception for Phillips, whose comments about the Cardinals last month were the catalyst for a benches clearing melee.

“Probably not good,” Baker said. “None of us will probably get a good reception. That’s what happens when you had what we had and we’re on the road and in their town for the first time. It’s expected.”

*Jay Bruce said he was not available to play tonight because he’s still bothered by a sore right side. There has been improvement, however. It’s possible that Bruce could return Saturday, Baker said.

“It’s gotten a ton better from yesterday to today,” Bruce said. “Hopefully the improvement keeps on coming.”

*Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto returned home to the Dominican Republic for an undisclosed family emergency. The expectation is he will rejoin the club in time to make his scheduled start Tuesday at Colorado.

“We plan on it,” Baker said. “He’s going to run and throw while he’s down there. He’s had a pretty serious emergency down there. He had to go home. He had to take his mom and his brothers that were up here – they all had to go home.”

*Baker said that Orlando Cabrera would start on Saturday.

*In the limited sample vs. Garcia, Jonny Gomes fared the best at 3-for-6 (.500) with two RBIs and two walks. Joey Votto was 1-for-5 and Phillips was 2-for-9.

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