Instant Replay: Reds 4, Phillies 2

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Instant Replay: Reds 4, Phillies 2

BOX SCORE

CINCINNATI -- Offense continued to be a problem for the Phillies on Monday night as they were beaten, 4-2, by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Phils have scored just eight runs in four games on this road trip. They are 2-2 on the trip and 6-7 overall.

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee had just one bad inning, but that was one too many given the way the Phillies are scoring runs.

The Phils did tie the game in the eighth inning, but the Reds jumped on relievers Jeremy Horst and Mike Adams in the bottom of the inning to earn the win.

Starting pitching report
Lee and Bronson Arroyo hooked up in a swift-moving pitchers duel for much of the night.

Lee went seven innings and allowed just five hits and two runs. Both of those runs came in the seventh inning when he gave up a single, a double and his first walk of the season. He also threw a wild pitch and made a throwing error. Lee needed 28 pitches to get through the inning.

The lack of run support was nothing new to Lee. He received the fourth-worst run support in the majors last season (3.20). The Phils scored three or fewer runs in 20 of his 30 starts. So far this season, they have scored two or fewer in two of his three.

Arroyo allowed two runs over eight walk-free innings. He couldn’t protect a 2-0 lead in the eighth.

Bullpen report
Horst allowed two hits in the bottom of the eighth and walked Joey Votto intentionally before Adams allowed a two-run single to Brandon Phillips to give the Reds a 4-2 lead.

Aroldis Chapman iced the Phils in the ninth for the save. He struck out Ryan Howard on a 100-mph heater to end the game.

At the plate
The Phils had just four singles until Chase Utley came off the bench and tied the game with a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the top of the eighth. It was the Phils’ only extra-base hit of the night.

In the field
Ben Revere was spectacular. The Phillies’ centerfielder made one of the best catches you’ll ever see in a running, reaching, jumping, diving, over-the-shoulder grab of a Todd Frazier drive to the warning track in the second inning. Revere doubled up Jay Bruce at first. Bruce was convinced the ball was going to go or extra bases.

An inning later, Revere climbed the wall to take extra bases away from Ryan Hanigan.

The Reds' infield, particularly second baseman Phillips and third baseman Frazier, also flashed some impressive leather.

Lineup stuff
Utley did not start for the first time this season as manager Charlie Manuel continues to get Freddy Galvis some playing time. Galvis has started the last three games at third base, shortstop and second base. With Utley out, Galvis batted second and Jimmy Rollins third. Utley will return to his usual spot on Tuesday night.

Up next
Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.40) and Homer Bailey (1-1, 5.73) are the pitchers on Tuesday night.

Phillies getting good reports on catching prospect Jorge Alfaro

Phillies getting good reports on catching prospect Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro, one of the Phillies' most highly regarded prospects, is off to a big start at Triple A Lehigh Valley.
 
He entered Wednesday night's game hitting .377 (23 for 61) with a 1.003 OPS in his first 15 games. He had a double, two triples, three homers and 10 RBIs. Team officials would surely like to see the strikeouts (17) come down and the walks (1) go up, but no one is complaining about the production.
 
"I just looked at his numbers," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's doing very well — knocking the cover off the ball."
 
Alfaro, 23, is widely considered the Phillies' catcher of the future. He's an athletic talent with huge upside. Many scouts believe he could be an All-Star if he puts it all together.
 
Defense is the area where Alfaro needs the most work. Yes, he's got a "howitzer" for an arm, as Mackanin called it, so that doesn't need much work. But there's a lot more to catching than throwing. There's game-calling, receiving and blocking.
 
Alfaro made a cameo with the big club last September and did not impress club officials with his receiving or blocking. Instructors focused on improving those areas in spring training, and Mackanin reports that Alfaro has shown progress in the early season.
 
"We get a complete game report on what everyone does offensively and defensively," Mackanin said. "Apparently he looks very good defensively.
 
"He had some issues defensively. He wasn't getting down enough and he worked on that all spring. He's a big guy and it's a little more difficult for a big guy to get low.
 
"And we wanted him to just be a little more quiet behind the plate, less movement. He had a tendency to be moving while the pitcher was getting ready to pitch. We just want a guy sitting back there nice and quiet with a good target. That might seem pretty elementary, but if you're not concentrating on doing that you might not realize the importance of it.
 
"He's doing well blocking balls. He's doing everything well right now and hitting on top of it, so that's a nice sign."

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Pitcher Clay Buchholz made his first appearance in the Phillies' clubhouse Wednesday since having surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm last week.  

Many initially believed Buchholz would be out for the remainder of the season -- and he still might be -- but he expressed optimism and believes he can return to the mound in September.

"My goal right now is to let this heal," Buchholz said. "Get it well and if this team keeps playing like they're playing right now, we'll be playing in September, October, so that's my goal."

Buchholz said he wasn't feeling 100 percent leading up to the April 11 game against the New York Mets when manager Pete Mackanin pulled him in the third inning. 

"I told [general manager Matt Klentak] that I was sorry, and the guys in here," Buchholz said. "I was brought here for a reason. I wanted to pitch, I wanted to be good. I guess it's a good thing we have a good farm system here because they've been able to step up and fill in."

Buchholz had a similar issue with the Boston Red Sox in July 2015 and missed the rest of the season. 

In his two starts with the Phillies, Buchholz allowed 10 runs and 19 baserunners over just 7 1/3 innings. 
 
Buchholz, 32, will become a free agent at the end of the season. Given his age and the possibility that he won't return this season, the injury could significantly affect his value heading into the offseason. He's the second-highest paid player on the Phillies' roster at $13.5 million

But Buchholz wants to build the strength in his forearm and continue to pitch in MLB following this season.

"There's a lot of guys that come back," Buchholz said. "I have a lot of buddies that played this game that have come back from major surgeries and played for eight or nine more years. It's all about once I do get healthy, being prepared and building a strong foundation around my muscles."