Just when you thought maybe the Fightins might be getting into their heads a little bit, the Reds proved they can indeed defeat the class of the National League. Cincinnati had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth of a tie ball game, when Jay Bruce busted the game open with a bases clearing double. Reds win 6-3, evening the series at one a piece.
Entering the game, the Phillies had beaten Cinci in eight consecutive meetings, including playoffs. In several cases, Reds meltdowns played a role in the final.
Tonight, it was Ryan Madson's turn to fall apart. With one out, Mad Dog jumped off the mound to field a Drew Stubbs bunt, but threw the ball away which allowed the runner to advance to second. Two batters later, they gave the intentional pass to reigning NL MVP Joey Votto, then Scott Rolen nearly gave his club the lead on a hard hit ball down the third base line. Placido Polanco snared it, but had no play.
That set up Bruce, who blasted a deep shot off the base of the wall in right-center.
Madson came into the ballgame having allowed only one run all season, so he was probably due, particularly in the always uncomfortable closer-in-a-tie-game situation. That didn't make it any less ugly though.
Vance Worley made the start and battled through some control problems to limit the damage. He made it through five, allowing three earned on six hits, but walking four. The bullpen was strong six-thru-eight, with Herndon, Stutes, and Bastardo combining to allow one hit while striking out three.
Chase Utley notched his first hit of the season tonight, but a baserunning mistake on the play made it far from memorable.
With one out in the third and Jimmy Rollins standing on second, Utley knocked a shallow liner into centerfield. Rollins attempted to make it home, but he was out by such a great distance, all he could do was simply trot into catcher Ramon Martinez's tag.
Wheels suggested Rollins didn't get a good read on the ball, resulting in a late start from the bag. He also wasn't sure third base coach Juan Samuel realized J-Roll didn't get much of a jump.
Regardless, instead of having runners on first and third with one out, it was two outs with Utley on second. Polanco grounded weakly to second on the following at bat, which may have resulted in an inning-ending double play anyway, but now we'll never know.
Utley finished 1-for-4.