Sunday, October 10, 2010
Reds Have Total Systematic Meltdown, Still Plan to Take Series, Phills 7-4
Going into the bottom of the 5th, the Reds were up 4-0. Phillips quickly ended all talk of the Wednesday night no-hitter with a lead-off bomb, the first of the leadoff variety of his career, off Oswalt. A couple of Chase Utley errors and Bruce bomb inflated the lead. Then the defense broke down. The fielders, especially compared to years past, have been remarkably consistent this season - the Reds making the fewest errors in the National League. But unfortunately, they saved four of them up for Friday. Phill and Rolen erred in the 5th, giving the Phills a couple of gift runs. After Arroyo was yanked after walking Werth, Rhodes came in and got one out, then hit Carlos Ruiz in the knee with a pitch. So, Arty and his aching feet ("my dogs are barkin'") hit the showers. Ondrusek liked the reaction of Ruiz's HBP so much that he decided to do the same to Ben Francisco, nipping the bill of his hard hat. So, bases loaded, two-outs and Vicorino at the plate. Ondrusek made the wise decision of not even bothering to throw strikes, walking in a run to make it 4-3 with the inning finally ending on a grounder by Placido Polanco.
However, after the Reds offense did little in the top of 7, the errors resumed in the bottom. Chapman relieved Ondrusek and was throwing his usual gas. The inning began with Utley pretending to be hit with a pitch. Read his, Utley's, post-game statement about it, that ball didn't even graze his jersey. Chap struck out Howard. Wirth then grounded to Rolen, who went to second but his throw was late to get Utley. Then the a-hole operating the scoreboard gave Bruce an error on what turned out to be the go-ahead run on a ball that he lost in the lights. You never see that call. Sure, he did not catch a ball that has caught 100 out of 100 times this season, but how is that different from losing the ball in the sun. Phillips did his best to see that Bruce got off the hook, by making an error of his own on the relay throw from Stubbs. Two runs scored and everyone in Cincinnati was very disappointed.
The Reds were so dejected that they decided not to light up Brad Lidge. They'll wait until a little later in the series to do that.
So, back in Cincinnati down 0-2. Dusty has Philly right where they want them. Nothing is as demoralizing as being on the verge of victory only to fall apart before attaining it. That's what the Reds have in mind. Cueto's been drinking green all god-damned day and is jacked up! No 2/3rds of an inning with 9 runs allowed like last season's trip to Philly.