Like us to subscribe
Apologies for the poor quality here, but it's the best we can do in showing evidence of the controversial calls that went Chase Utley's way Friday night.
asked where he got hit by chapman's 102-mph fastball, utley said, "it was pretty close.''
You could argue that there's no shame in getting no-hit by Roy Halladay. Halladay's an excellent pitcher, and he was at the very tippy top of his game.
The game got off to a promising start for Cincinnati, when Brandon Phillips immediately erased any thoughts about a no-hitter or a shutout by taking Roy Oswalt deep to left field to lead things off. Two Chase Utley throwing errors allowed the Reds to add a run in the second, and they would score once more in both the fourth and the fifth thanks to a Jay Bruce solo homer and a sac fly by Joey Votto.
Oswalt's day would end after five innings, allowing four runs while striking out five on 76 pitches.
It was in the bottom of the fifth that things started to come apart for the Reds. Consecutive two-out errors by Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen allowed the Phillies to load the bases, and Chase Utley cashed in with a two-run single into right.
In the sixth, the Phillies would add one more when Arthur Rhodes and Logan Ondrusek - relieving the effective Bronson Arroyo - hit consecutive batters, and Ondrusek then walked Shane Victorino with the bases loaded.
And it was in the seventh that the Phillies stormed ahead, thanks to a critical defensive miscue and just another playoff umpiring controversy. Dusty Baker brought Aroldis Chapman out of the bullpen to start the inning. After getting ahead of Chase Utley 0-2, Chapman missed with a fastball up and in that home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman said nicked the batter. Replays would show otherwise.
Chapman struck out Ryan Howard swinging on three pitches, and then got Jayson Werth to hit a grounder to Rolen at third. Rolen, though, bobbled the ball slightly, and his throw to second wasn't in time to get the lead runner. Replays would show that the ball barely beat Utley to the bag, but Utley was ruled safe.
Then, with two on and one out, Jimmy Rollins lined a first-pitch 100 mile per hour fastball into right field that Jay Bruce lost in the lights, allowing the ball to get by him and letting the tying and go-ahead runs come around to score. Replays would show that Utley appeared to miss third base with his foot, but nothing was done about it.
Ahead 5-4, the Phillies would add an insurance run two batters later when Carlos Ruiz drove Rollins home with a grounder to short. The Phillies would then add another insurance tally in the eighth on a Jayson Werth single to left.
Brad Lidge closed the game out in the ninth and put the finishing touches on a stellar effort by the Phillies bullpen. After Oswalt struggled through five mediocre innings, Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, J.C. Ramirez, and Chad Durbin combined to throw four shutout frames, with two walks, two strikeouts, and a hit.
The Phillies and Reds will now head to Cincinnati for Game 3, to be played Sunday evening. The Phillies will hand the ball to Cole Hamels as they look to close the series out, while the Reds will hope that Johnny Cueto can keep them alive. Worth noting that the Reds will likely be without shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who had to leave Friday's game after aggravating an oblique injury that troubled him throughout the season's second half.
Sure enough, Brad Lidge had little trouble in preserving a three-run ninth inning lead. Though he walked Jay Bruce to start off, he got the next two batters to fly out before getting Chris Heisey to ground out to third to end the game. Heisey's grounder was a sharp one, hit down the line, but Placido Polanco - who missed Game 1 with back soreness - made a terrific diving stop, and threw a strike to first base.
It's now 2-0 Phillies in the series, heading to Cincinnati.
And just to make it all worse for the Reds, the Phillies decided to go ahead and actually earn themselves a run in the bottom of the eighth. Already up 6-4, the Phillies got a single from Chase Utley, a stolen base, and then a single through the hole by Jayson Werth to drive him home. No further damage was done, but the insurance run gave the Phillies and closer Brad Lidge a three-run lead heading into the ninth, and the Reds' odds are long.
Just like that, the Reds are three outs away from a heartbreaking loss. Ryan Madson came on to pitch the top of the eighth for Philadelphia, and against the middle of the Cincinnati lineup, he pitched around a Joey Votto single and a wild pitch to keep the Reds off the board. It's 6-4 heading into the bottom half, and the Reds will bat Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Ryan Hanigan in the ninth.
The Phillies could trace their first three runs back to a couple defensive miscues on the Reds' part and a bases-loaded walk. That, however, wasn't anything. Dusty Baker summoned Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen to protect a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh, and it was with his third pitch that everything started to come apart.
First, Chapman missed up and in with an 0-2 pitch and appeared to nick Chase Utley, who took first base*.
The next batter - Jimmy Rollins - drilled a 100 mile per hour fastball into right field. It appeared to be a catchable fly ball, but Jay Bruce lost it in the lights or the towel-waving crowd, and it rolled away behind him. The miscue allowed Utley to score from second* and Werth to score from first, putting the Phillies on top 5-4.
The frame was an absolute nightmare for the Reds, who have essentially handed the Phillies all six of their runs. They will now have to come back against Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge if they intend on returning home in anything other than a desperate, devastated position.
* - it's absolutely vital to note that, on replay, Chase Utley came away looking incredibly lucky. It seemed like the HBP missed him, it seemed like Rolen's throw to second beat him, and then on the Bruce miscue Utley appeared not to touch third base. Another game, another umpire controversy.
Sweating time for Reds fans. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin worked a scoreless top of the sixth, with Durbin ending the frame by picking Drew Stubbs off first base. That brought us to the bottom half, where the Phillies were able to plate another run without having to work very hard. Jayson Werth led off with a walk. Jimmy Rollins then popped out - the last batter of Bronson Arroyo's day - and reliever Arthur Rhodes struck out Ryan Howard, but then Rhodes hit Carlos Ruiz in the knee.
Dusty Baker came out and replaced Rhodes with Logan Ondrusek, but Ondrusek promptly clipped pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the helmet to load the bases. To make matters worse, he subsequently walked Shane Victorino on five pitches to force in a run.
Placido Polanco would ground out to end the inning, but now it's a 4-3 ballgame. The good news for the Reds: Aroldis Chapman remains available in the bullpen. One could make a convincing argument that he should've been brought in in the sixth, but he's still out there and the Reds are still in front, which is a big advantage.
3 runs (1 earned)
Jose Contreras is pitching the seventh for the Phillies, and Chapman is beginning to get warm in the Cincinnati bullpen.
A pair of Chase Utley throwing errors directly led to the Reds' second run of the game back in the second inning. It's only fitting, then, that Utley should be able to make up for his miscues after the Reds made some errors of their own. In the bottom of the fifth, Raul Ibanez notched a base hit, and three batters later, Shane Victorino reached when Brandon Phillips booted a ground ball. Two pitches after that, Scott Rolen couldn't handle a bounce on a Placido Polanco grounder, and with the bases loaded, Chase Utley ripped a two-run single into right to cut Cincinnati's lead in half.
One by one, the Reds continue to add to their lead. They scored in the first, the second, the fourth, and now the fifth, after Brandon Phillips doubled to lead off, advanced to third on a bunt*, and scored on a Joey Votto sac fly to the left-center warning track. Roy Oswalt has managed five strikeouts through five innings, but he's also given up too much solid contact, and has failed in his task to keep his team close.
It's 4-0 Cincinnati at the halfway mark.
The Reds aren't doing it by the bushel, but slowly and surely, they're trying to pull away in Game 2. Bronson Arroyo survived some line drives in the third, and in the top of the fourth, Jay Bruce led off by yanking an inside breaking ball deep into the right field seats. The solo homer was Cincinnati's second of the day and made it a 3-0 ballgame, and with Arroyo already having thrown three shutout innings and Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen, the Reds have to be feeling pretty confident. A team that two days ago looked down and out now has plenty of life.
There's possible good news for both teams, here. After Bronson Arroyo worked through the bottom of the second, Roy Oswalt came back out and allowed sharply-hit singles to each of the first two batters he faced. He then got Joey Votto to fly out before striking out Scott Rolen and Laynce Nix swinging to end the threat.
If you're the Reds, you're happy that you're still getting good swings against Oswalt in his third frame of work. If you're the Phillies, you're encouraged that maybe he's starting to settle in and shake off the early rust.
Oswalt has thrown 60 pitches, with 39 strikes.
And now not only do the Reds have an early lead - they have a little bit of breathing room, too. After Bronson Arroyo made quick work of the Phillies in the bottom of the first, the Reds took advantage of some sloppiness in the second to double the gap. Laynce Nix led off with a grounder to Chase Utley that Utley threw high to first, pulling Ryan Howard off the bag. Two batters later, Drew Stubbs drew a walk, and though Ryan Hanigan hit a routine 6-4-3 grounder to short, Utley made another bad throw, sailing wide of Howard and allowing Nix to score.
The Reds earned their first run. The Phillies gave them their second, and Roy Oswalt's at 42 pitches through two.
The Reds literally ended any no-hit and shutout bid as quickly as possible. Facing Roy Oswalt, Brandon Phillips worked himself into a 2-1 count, got a slider over the plate, and tucked it inside the left field foul pole for a leadoff home run.
Oswalt retired the next three hitters in order to end the inning, but just that fast, it's 1-0 Reds going into the bottom of the first, and you have to think that an enormous weight has been lifted from the Reds' collective shoulder. Now it's on Bronson Arroyo to mix things up and remain effective so he doesn't give the lead away.
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joey Votto, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Laynce Nix, LF
Jay Bruce, RF
Drew Stubbs, CF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Bronson Arroyo, SP
Placido Polanco, 3B
(Sports Network) - Roy Oswalt may not be able to duplicate what Roy Halladay did in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, but with the way he has dominated the Cincinnati Reds over the course of his career, you never know.
Tonight Philadelphia tries to take a commanding two games-to-none lead over the Reds in the best-of-five set at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia, as well as the baseball universe, is still marveling over what Halladay did in his postseason debut on Wednesday, when he turned in the second no-hitter in playoff history as the Phillies rolled to a 4-0 win.
"I don't expect to do the same thing," Oswalt said. "I'm going out there looking for a quality start, pretty much."
Halladay, the soon-to-be National League Cy Young Award winner, set the bar high in the opener for Oswalt, who was the Phillies' best pitcher down the stretch. The latter won his final seven decisions and pitched to a 1.74 ERA in his 13 games with the Phils following his trade-deadline acquisition from Houston.
"We're up 1-0. And you know, like that's kind of how I want Roy Oswalt to feel," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "I just want him to do the same thing that Roy Halladay did. Just go out there and be comfortable, get a comfortable atmosphere and pitch to his ability and his knowledge on how to pitch. Just be himself."
Oswalt was even better at Citizens Bank Park, where he was 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in six starts. For his career, he is 9-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 starts there.
The 33-year-old righty has also dominated the Reds in his brilliant career, having posted a 23-3 mark to go along with a 2.81 ERA in 34 games (32 starts) against them. However, he lost both of his starts to Cincinnati this season and hasn't beaten the Reds since winning all four starts against them in 2008.
"The team changes so much," Oswalt said. "There's really no way to explain it from when I first started. There's not a guy left on that [Cincinnati] team, I don't guess, that played then. So it changes so much.
"I don't know if it's just the way it lined up. A few times, I actually gave up a few runs against them and my team came back and scored me a few. So we just kind of lined up where I pitched on the days that we scored some runs and some days I was able to shut them out. Really wasn't one direct thing, I don't guess."
Cincinnati, meanwhile, is still licking its wounds after Halladay's masterpiece.
"I mean, you have no choice but it still counts as a loss. That was a very dramatic loss, though," admitted Reds manager Dusty Baker. "That is the best pitched game I've seen since I've been going to the playoffs and the World Series. You have no choice but to bounce back. You've got to put it behind you, and figure we got beat by a great performance [Wednesday]."
The Reds led the NL in batting average (.278), homers (188) and runs (790), but they now haven't scored in 30 innings against Philadelphia.
Hoping that changes tonight will be Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, who was 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA this season. However, things haven't gone well for him against the Phillies, as he is just 1-5 lifetime with a 5.54 ERA in eight games versus Philadelphia.
Arroyo, one of just six Reds with previous postseason experience, has appeared in 10 playoff games without recording a decision, but has pitched to a 7.41 ERA in those encounters.
After winning two of three meetings with the Phillies at Great American Ball Park from June 28-30, the Reds were swept in four games at Citizens Bank Park more than a week later from July 8-11. Cincinnati has not scored in its last 20 innings at Philadelphia and has not won in six games there dating back to 2009.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.