Numb. Reds Beat Themselves as Phillies Look On, 7-4

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Satan.  Hell's grim tyrant ascended from the smoking abyss this evening to strike a bargain.  All the Reds asked for was for Chase Utley to be stricken with a case of noodle-arms.  It worked to perfection, but our Reds just didn't expect the dark lord to collect so quickly.  Honorable mentions go to Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley, and Jayson Werth.

Key Plays
  • Brandon Phillips led off the game with a prodigious blast to LF to break up the perfect game, the no hitter, and the shutout.  I frightened the neighbors with my triumphant yelps.
  • In the 2nd, Laynce Nix reached on a throwing error by Utley and Drew Stubbs drew a 1-out walk.  Ryan Hanigan hit a double-play ball to SS but Utley made another bad throw, allowing Nix to score.  My face hurt from smiling so hard.
  • In the 3rd Oswalt was reeling.  Phillips and Cabrera led off the inning with back-to-back singles.  Little Roy was sweating bullets with the heart of the mighty Reds lineup ahead of him, but he got Votto to fly out and Rolen and Nix to strike out. 
  • Jay Bruce led off the 4th with a goliath homer to the second deck in RF.  3-0 Redlegs.  I high-fived my cat.
  • In the 5th, Phillips led off with his 3rd hit in as many ABs by doubling to LF.  Janish, who PH for Cabrera because he re-aggravated his oblique, was able to sac-bunt him over to 3rd.  Votto launched a deep fly ball to left-center that was caught just shy of the wall and Phillips was able to tag up easily.  4-0 good guys.  I did a back flip in my living room.
  • And that's when the devil came for his due.  Bronson Arroyo had been dealing rocks all night and the 5th was no exception.  His gold-glove defense let him down though.  Errors by Rolen and Phillips (and a single by Ibanez) loaded the bases with 2 outs.  Utley singled to bring in 2, but Bronson was able to strike out Ryan Howard to stem the tide.
  • Arroyo came back out in the 6th and promptly walked Jayson Werth.  He was able to get Rollins to pop out before he exited.  Nasty Man Arthur Rhodes was the first of the Reds bullpeners, and that's when it got ugly.  He struck out Ibanez, but hit Carlos RuizLogan Ondrusek then came in to plunk Ben Francisco.  Bases full and he walks Shane Victorino.  He got Polanco to ground out though and we all thought, "Phew!  That's the worst bullpen inning we'll ever see!" 
  • The clairvoyant among us fetched our retching buckets.
  • The Cubandolero, Aroldis Chapman, came in in the 7th to face the middle of the Phillies lineup.  It was the match up baseball fans had been dreaming of.  The inning began on a cheapo HBP that sent Utley to 1st.  Chapman then fanned Howard on 3 pitches.  Werth grounded a routiner to Rolen, but he threw to 2nd and apparently didn't get Utley.  Another cheapo.  Then came the death blow.  Rollins lined an easy one to RF but Jay Bruce broke the hearts of millions by losing the ball in the lights.  Utley scored.  Then Phillips bobbled the relay and Werth scored.  The Reds 4-0 lead had vanished.  Rollins scored on a ground out to make it 6-4.
  • The Phillies iced their shit cake in the 8th.  7-4.

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via www.fangraphs.com

Other Notes
  • The Phillies didn't hit a single extra-base hit all night.  8 singles and 9(!!!) free passes via walk or HBP accounted for all their baserunners.
  • Only 2 of the Phillies 7 runs were earned.
  • The Reds 4 errors set a record for the LDS.
  • Brandon Phillips was a 3B short of the cycle.
  • The Phils now have a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.  Game 3 is Sunday at 7:00 in Cincinnati.
  • I'd contemplate suicide if I wasn't so afraid of failure.
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