You’ve got to feel for Jay Bruce. What an awful feeling. What a horrible way to lose the lead and for things to fall apart.
I have to agree with the broadcast team that it’s much more painful to lose the way the Reds did tonight than the no-hitter. The Reds had a 4-0 lead! Phillips was raking. They were scoring runs. Arroyo was dealing. Wha happen! The Reds were so close to turning things around after Game 1 and heading to Cincinnati tied at 1 that they could taste it. Now they’re on the ropes. They can win Game 3. And I don’t buy that the series is over just because they’ll have to face Halladay again. But it’s going to be a lot tougher than it would’ve been if they’d have taken care of their lead.
Analysis follows. This post might not be as long, though, as our post from the other night because I played a drinking game during tonight’s game where I had to drink every time Brian or Joe referred to Halladay’s no-hitter. (And I had to chug each time they showed the new Beyond Baseball promo.) So I got pretty lethargic as the evening progressed.
• Why can’t someone tell Dusty to appeal to third after Utley missed the bag. I never understood why someone can’t let Dusty know. Dusty said after the game that he didn’t see it and didn’t find out until it was too late, but isn’t there someone on the bench who’s supposed to keep an eye on that? I know it has to be quick and it’s not like football where a coach in the booth can tell the head coach to challenge a call, but it’s frustrating. Different game if Utley’s run doesn’t count and there’s an out there.
Haha, wouldn’t you know as I type this I’m watching Chris Welsh during the FSO post-game show … his words … “I think the one thing though that you can look at, and wonder and scratch your head about, is that why in the world didn’t somebody in that dugout see that Chase Utley missed third base. I mean, if you’re sitting there live, somebody has to have the assignment, just like in the umpiring crew, somebody’s got the assignment to watch the ball, somebody else has got the assignment to make sure that the runners tag up on time or that they actually tag the bags. Well somebody on that coaching staff should’ve been looking at third base because Chase Utley missed that third base by a long shot. And had they been able to go back and appeal that, his run would’ve been out, and I think the way I’ve got it figured, they don’t score in that inning. So it was a very unfortunate turn of events right there but I think some of those could’ve been prevented with a little more due diligence.”
AP photo shows Utley was out
• I’d love to see Chase Utley sliding into second from at least two other angles. John Kiesewetter praised TBS’ cameras but I’m pretty sure we only got to see that replay twice. HUGE call. And it was VERY close … he honestly looked out to me on the throw from Rolen to Phillips.
• I can only think of one time – before the game started, actually – Joe Simpson annoyed me, which is a credit to him. “It’s hard to imagine anybody pitching better than Halladay pitched a couple of nights ago but Roy Oswalt is certainly capable.” C’mon, Joe.
• Simpson was right about one thing: Phillips’ home run was “exactly what the Reds needed.” That’s got to be one of the biggest home runs ever to lead off a playoff game. After getting no-hit.
• Great eye by Stubbs – another guy not necessarily known for great plate discipline – on ball four in the 2nd inning. Solid job he did breaking up the double play on the ball Utley threw away too, allowing Nix to score.
• Huge hit by Cabrera after Phillips led off the inning with a hit. These two really set the table in the 3rd; what a huge squandered opportunity to work on increasing that lead. It was really a shame Votto, Rolen and Nix all failed to come through and do some damage in that inning.
• Phillips on Oswalt (during a quick soundbite they showed): “Hit his mistakes, because he makes a lot of mistakes.” Nice. He doesn’t really mince words, does he.
• Rolen was getting around pretty gingerly in the 3rd, when he struck out for the fourth time in his fifth at-bat of the series. He’s clearly not 100 percent. I realize he wants to play, he deserves to play, he contributed A LOT to the Reds’ push for the postseason. I hate to say it, but he’s not doing the Reds any good if he’s dealing with some pretty nagging pain. Cairo isn’t going to strike out 5 times in 7 at-bats like Rolen has.
• It stinks because Bruce actually had a nice game with the exception of the ball he lost. He friggin’ tattooed that home run ball to lead off the 4th. He had a great throw after Victor Ino took him back to the warning track, putting a scare into Carlos Ruiz trying to double him up at first. And he did a good job laying off that close pitch by Lidge with two strikes to draw a walk to lead off the 9th.
• Bronson did a great job getting that huge double play ball after walking Howard and giving up the hit to Werth. Good damage control in the 5th too by getting Howard after he allowed the 2-out, 2-RBI hit by Utley. He did a great job getting ahead and striking him out.
• I take it back, I got annoyed by the broadcast team one other time. Anderson saying Janish entering the game for Cabrera “could be a tough blow for Cincinnati.” Simpson chiming in with Janish is “not as good an offensive player.” Hmmm. Cabrera hit .263 with 4 homers and 42 RBI in 494 at-bats during the regular season. Janish hit .260 with 5 homers and 25 RBI in 200 at-bats. It doesn’t appear that there’s as much of a difference offensively as they make it out to be.
• Kinda funny that the Phillies followed suit by looking to a young guy (Domonic Brown) with the first pinch-hit appearance of the series (Juan Francisco was our first pinch-hitter in Game 1)
instead of a seasoned vet.
• The Reds sure are having a tough time getting the third out in this series. Four out of the Phils’ five hits in Game 1 came with 2 outs. Utley’s hit in the 5th – 2 outs. Ondrusek walked in the run in the 6th with 2 outs. All of that crap in the 7th (except for Utley’s HBP that didn’t hit him) happened with 1 out, but there would’ve been 2 outs if they would’ve called Utley out at 2nd (or if someone would’ve caught that he missed 3rd).
• Hey, annoying lady in the blue shirt waving your towel trying to distract Nick Masset on every pitch he throws: Please stop.
• Reds only had one hit from the 6th inning on. They had two walks, but one of those guys (Stubbs) got picked off.