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Updated: October 8, 2010
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Phillies come from behind to take 2-0 lead in NLDS
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania / SAN FRANCISCO, California (USA) - On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies trailed 4-0, but won 7-4 vs. the Cincinnati Reds to take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. Later in the evening, the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves played their second game of the NLDS. The recap of this game will be added later.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7-4 (game 2, NLDS)

At Philadelphia, the Cincinnati Reds committed four errors (NLDS-record) and the Philadelphia Phillies added two to set an combined NLDS-record of six, while the pitchers of both teams didn't have their best controls in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. After trailing 4-0, the Phillies won 7-4 to take a 2-0 lead in this series, which now will move to Cincinnati and continue next Sunday.

After being No-Hit on Wednesday in Game 1 of the Series, the Reds were on the board quickly in Game 2. In the first inning, Brandon Phillips led off the game for the Reds with a homerun to deep leftfield off starter Roy Oswalt on his fourth delivery of the evening. For Cincinnati, this was its first lead-off homerun in a postseason game since October 20, 1972. Back then Pete Rose led off Game 5 of the World Series with a homeun off Catfish Hunter of the Oakland A's. Furthermore, the run scored by Phillips was the first scored by the Reds after 30 scoreless innings vs. the Phillies at Philadelphia.

Cincinnati added a run in the second inning when 2B Chase Utley made two throwing errors. Lead-off hitter Laynce Nix reached on a throwing error and advanced on a wild pitch, then Drew Stubbs walked with one out. Nix then scored when a throwing error followed a force-out trying to complete a double play.

In the fourth, Cincinnati made it 3-0 when Jay Bruce led off with a homerun, then the fourth run followed in the fifth at bat. Brandon Phillips then opened with a double, moved on a sac-bunt by pinch-hitter Paul Janish and scored on a sac-fly by Joey Votto and that marked the fourth time that a lead-off hitter scored.

In the home of the fifth, the Phillies got two runs back with two outs. Raul Ibanez led off with a single, but was forced out on an one-out grounder by Domonic Brown. Next, two fielding errors followed on grounders by Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco to load the bases. A single by Chase Utley then drove in two runs and made it 4-2.

Philadelphia-starter Roy Oswalt, who gave up the four Cincinnati-runs, left after five innings. For the righthander, this was his shortest outing since July 24, when he was pitching for the Houston Astros and then also faced the Reds. Oswalt came to the Phillies in a trade on July 29.

The Phillies moved within one run due to some control-problems for the Cincy-pitchers in the sixth. First, Jayson Werth was walked by starter Bronson Arroyo, who was then relieved with one out by Arthur Rhodes, who then struckout Raul Ibanez. Werth then stole second base and Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch. Logan Ondrusek then took over for Rhodes, but also hit pinch-hitter Ben Francisco with a pitch to load the bases. Next, Ondrusek walked Shane Victorino to bring in a run, but ended the inning with a groundout.

In the top of the seventh, big Cuban pitcher Josť Ariel Contreras became the new Philadelphia-pitcher and got three quick outs. In the bottom of the seventh, another Cuban pitcher, Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz, took over the pitching for the Reds. Chapman, who was recalled to the big league on August 31 to make him eligible for the postseason, got headlines for throwing a 105 mph fastball, the highest speed ever recorded. Because of his flaming fastballs, Chapman's performance and postseason-debut was much anticipated. However, instead of dominating the Phillies, he was hit hard and wasn't supported by his defense either. The Phillies rallied for three runs to take over the lead and make it 6-4. First, Champman (whose childhood idol was Contreras) hit lead-off hitter Chase Utley with a pitch. The lefthander then struckout powerhitter Ryan Howard, but the Reds-defense fell apart. But first, another umpiring call was disputed. Utley was ruled safe on a close call sliding into second base on a force play-grounder by Jayson Werth to put runners on first and second base and having only one out. As happened in the earlier disputed calls during the League Championship Series, runs were scored thereafter. Jimmy Rollins hit the ball into rightfield where Jay Bruce missed the ball for an error. Utley scored and Werth also was waved home when another error followed on the relay to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead. Rollins advanced to second base, then advanced when Raul Ibanez followed with a single and scored on a force play-grounder by Carlos Ruiz. Hereafter, Mike Sweeney followed with another single, which marked the end for Chapman, who was relieved by Nick Massett, who then finally finished the inning with a groundout.

The Phillies added another run in the eighth inning when Chase Utley singled with one out, stole second and scored on a single by Jayson Werth to make it 7-4.

Because of the situation in the seventh inning, Contreras became the winning pitcher, while Chapman got a blown save and ended up as the losing pitcher. By the way, both Cuban pitchers were once in The Netherlands. Contreras participated in the Haarlem Baseball Week and World Port Tournament, while Chapman was to participate in the WPT last year, but then left the Cuban Team and went on to sign a contract earlier this year.

(October 8)

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