BIG RED COLLAPSE (SO FAR)

Well, I knew the Reds had a big hill to climb against Philly, BUT tonight should have been a Reds’ Win.  Unfortunately, we got a Big Red Collapse.  Okay, Roy Halladay pitched a once in a lifetime masterpiece on Wednesday (Game 1), but the Reds looked like a winner tonight…until a bunch of errors and 3 hit batsmen.  They gave this game to the Phillies, as far as I can tell, as well as most other Reds’ fans.  Bronson Arroyo deserved a MUCH better outcome than the team gave him tonight – he pitched a great game.  Not a Halladay performance from game one, but he had the Phils baffled…until errors by Rolen and Phillips let them off the mat.  Sad tale…

With all due respect, it’s high time for Scott Rolen to begin looking like the great player he’s been all year, but he’s going out with a whimper, not a bang.  Another hitless game, and a big error that led to putting Philly back in tonight’s game.  That’s not the Veteran leadership the team needs right now, and he needs to get back in the game at GABP in a couple of days…or the 2010 Reds season will be history.  I know Rolen’s pride is hurt, as is Phillips and the rest of the team, and Rolen and Votto and the gang are total professionals – so they need to get REDS HOT at GABP this weekend.

Here’s Mr. Shelton’s story on the collapse tonight by Cincy, who is now down by 2 games to none:

Reds lose ball, game, unravel in Philadelphia

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — Just when the Reds seemed poised to redeem their series with the Phillies, a series of debacles has them down 0-2 and one loss away from elimination.

A four-run Reds lead evaporated with seven unanswered runs, five of them unearned, during a 7-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds committed four errors in the game — two in the fifth inning and two more in the seventh. All brought runs in.

The biggest gaffe of all came when Cincinnati was holding a 4-3 lead with one out in the Phillies’ seventh. Jay Bruce missed catching Jimmy Rollins’ seemingly routine fly to right field — the ball floated past his outstretched glove for an error. Center fielder Drew Stubbs backed up Bruce, but the two runs easily scored as Brandon Phillips bobbled the cutoff throw for a second error.

“You could tell with the lights,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Jay’s played golden glove outfield and he didn’t come close to catching that ball. From being an outfielder you can tell when a ball gets in the lights. Definitely, that ball got in the lights at the wrong time.”

The mistakes disabled the Reds’ best bullpen weapon in lefty Aroldis Chapman, who started the seventh. Chapman appeared to hit Chase Utley on his hand with a 101-mph fastball, although replays indicated no contact.

With one out, Jayson Werth grounded to third base, but all were safe as Utley slid safely ahead of Scott Rolen’s fielders choice throw. Baker argued the call by umpire Ed Rapuano to no avail.

“My catcher didn’t say anything,” Baker said of the called hit-by-pitch. “As it turned out, I heard that it didn’t hit him. The play at second, from where I was, it looked like he was out. I don’t know what the replay showed, but Ed Rapuano is one of the best umpires around.”

After Rollins reached on the Bruce error, he later scored on a Carlos Ruiz fielder’s choice play for a two-run Philadelphia lead.

“That was a very unfortunate inning for us,” Baker said. “Things didn’t go right for us, actually went terrible. … In my mind, we lost the game, but we outplayed them. We ended up giving them most of their runs.”

Such an outcome seemed unfathomable as the Reds took a 4-0 lead on Phillies starter Roy Oswalt through five innings. The Reds put the leadoff man on base in each of the five innings against Oswalt and had four of the runners score. Phillips, who was a triple shy of the cycle, was the catalyst three different times against the Phillies.

After the Reds were no-hit by Roy Halladay in Game 1, Phillips got their first hit of the series right away with a leadoff home run to left field on a 2-1 Oswalt pitch. It ended a scoreless streak of 30 innings for the Reds at Citizens Bank Park going back to July 9.

In the second, on leadoff batter Laynce Nix’s grounder to second base, Utley’s throw pulled Ryan Howard off of first base for an error. After a Stubbs one-out walk, Ryan Hanigan grounded into a potential inning-ending double play at shortstop, but Utley’s second throwing error sailed wide and allowed Nix to score.

In the Reds’ fourth, Bruce led off by crushing an 0-1 Oswalt pitch into the second deck of the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead. Phillips, who singled in the third inning, started the fifth with a leadoff double to the left-field corner. After pinch-hitter Paul Janish’s sacrifice bunt, Phillips scored on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly to deep left field for a 4-0 lead.

Oswalt was finished after five innings with four runs (three earned) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. After being 23-1 vs. the Reds lifetime before 2010, he has lost three straight starts to them — regular and postseason combined.

Two-out mistakes in the middle innings by the Reds let the Phillies back in the game.

A pair of defensive miscues by Gold Glove fielders cost Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the fifth inning. A runner was on first base when Shane Victorino grounded to the right side. Phillips attempted a sliding stop and bobbled the ball for an error. Placido Polanco followed with a sharp grounder to third base that bounced off the top of Scott Rolen’s glove for another error that loaded the bases.

Utley laced a two-run single to right field for a pair of unearned runs that made it a two-run game.

The Phillies did not notch a hit in the sixth but managed to score a run. Arroyo issued a leadoff walk to Werth and exited with one out. Arthur Rhodes entered and struck out Raul Ibanez on three pitches but drilled Ruiz on the left knee with a 2-2 pitch. Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and loaded the bases by hitting pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the helmet flap. A Victorino walk forced home a run.

Arroyo pitched 5 1/3 innings with one of his three runs allowed being earned with four hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

(Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.)

Okay, I refuse to get completely down on these kids from Cincinnati – 2010 has been a far better season than I was hoping for them.  I would MUCH rather see them down two games to none in th BUT they have to keep up the fire from here on out.  They’ve created this hole – NOW is the time NOT to panic, BUT Game 3 is Do or DIE. 

The Reds need a Win in Game 3 – for Respectability and for their Fans.  I have faith in my team, but they must get it done – on both sides of the field.

Two more words…GO REDS!


Phillips' HR, Votto (08OCT10).jpg

This SHOULD have been one of the Main Focusing Pictures of The Game…NOT the errors and LOSS.  Phillips 1st Inning HR, and Votto’s congrats – Reds need more of this, and timely relief pitching, and NO errors, unearned runs…(Picture courtesy of Enquirer.com).

 

 


ROSE, BENCH, MCENANEY - 75 WORLD CHAMPS (24SEP10).jpg 

Reds Fans need a picture like this upon completion of Game 3…or 2010 will be OVER – Rose, Bench, and McEnaney upon Winning the 1975 World Series in Boston. 

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