Brandon Phillips says he, Reds 'choked' in NL Wild Card loss

Justin K. Aller

Cincinnati's All-Star second baseman had harsh words for himself and his teammates on Tuesday night after the Reds' loss to the Pirates.

The Reds lost to the Pirates, 6-2, on Tuesday night in the National League Wild Card Game, and second baseman Brandon Phillips did not take the end of his season well.

"We deserve everything, we choked. We did. I don't care how people really feel, how my teammates how they feel about what I'm saying right now because it's the truth," Phillips said after the game, as shown on the TBS broadcast. "Either you win or you go home, and I'm going home. The last place I want to be is on my couch. I don't want to do that, but it happened today. It sucks, man. It's terrible."

The Reds lost their last five games of the regular season, including getting swept at home by the Pirates, which secured home field advantage Tuesday night for Pittsburgh. Phillips was 0-for-4 on the night and botched a potential double play ball in the fourth inning, allowing another Pirates run to score.

Phillips stressed that he wasn't calling just calling out his teammates.

"It's not a message that I'm sending. I choked," Phillips said. "Did I get any hits? Did I get any RBIs? Exactly. I choked. I didn't do nothing to make the team win. Like I said, it's on my back. It's not the team's fault, it's my fault. I had opportunities to really come through for the team and I didn't do that."

On the season Phillips hit .261/.310/.396, drove in a career-high 103 runs and made his third All-Star team. He also wasn't alone in disappointment in the Reds clubhouse. Joey Votto, who hit .305/.435/.491 with 24 home runs and 73 RBI on the season, was 0-for-4 on Tuesday with a pair of strikeouts.

Votto was critical of his own performance.

"Offensively I never really got it going this year. I thought I did well with what I had, but it just wasn't my best year this year, and it was by far my worst year defensively, I think," Votto said. "I felt like I made a lot of mistakes, and I've got to do some learning, put in a lot of work in the offseason and try to make the improvements I can to be a better ballplayer so we can be a better team."

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