Friday, October 8, 2010

Phillies take advantage of Reds blunders, take 2-0 series lead

In a game they really had no business winning, the Phillies took advantage of four Reds errors to overcome a 4-0 deficit in the later innings, winning 7-4 to give them a 2-0 NLDS series lead. While it wasn't a pretty win for the Phillies, in the playoffs, getting the win is all that matters.

Game 2 starting pitcher Roy Oswalt failed to pick up where Roy Halladay left off, giving up a leadoff home run to Brandon Phillips and going on to pitch 5 shaky innings. Oswalt simply didn't have his best stuff tonight as the Reds tagged him for 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Poor fielding by the Phillies early on didn't help, either, as Chase Utley had a pair of errors in the second inning that directly led to the Reds scoring a run.

After being shut down by Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo for the first 4 innings, the Phillies finally got to him in the 5th, picking up a pair of runs on an Utley single. After adding another run in the 6th, things really got interesting as the Reds trotted out flame-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman, the man who was supposedly going to shut down the Phillies lefty bats. Things didn't quite work out for Chapman, despite his 100 mile an hour fastball, as a phantom hit-by-pitch, a missed call, two singles and a couple of errors led to the Phillies tacking on 3 unearned runs. Once they took the lead, the Phillies bullpen held on and they never looked back.

While ace pitcher Roy Oswalt wasn't quite as good as advertised this time around, the Phillies still found a way to win and have now put the Reds on the ropes. With their third ace, Cole Hamels, set to take the mound in Game 3 in Cincinnati and Halladay ready to go in Game 4 should it be needed, it's tough to see any scenario where the Reds get back into the series.

You have to wonder which loss was more demoralizing for the Reds, the no-hitter by Halladay or this one that they gave away. Oh well, the Phillies will take them both. 9 more wins to go!

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