Reds postgame notes: Phillips shines under bright lights

October 7, 2012, 6:18 am
Share This Post


SAN FRANCISCO -- With apologies to Shawn Marion, go ahead and call Brandon Phillips "The Matrix."And not just in reverence to the seeming space-time continuum-defying move he pulled in the basepaths while avoiding a tag from Marco Scutaro to squelch a double-play attempt in the eighth inning.No, there was also his game-turning two-run home run off Matt Cain on a 1-and-2, 80-mph hanging curveball.And his spectacular sliding back up of a wild throw at first base. Not to mention his ninth-inning run-scoring single.The Reds second baseman was everywhere in Cincinnati's 5-2 victory to open up this National League Division Series."I'm a flashy player, but I do the fundamental things too, like backing up (first base) because that would have opened up the inning a lot. You never know what will happen."Everybody is watching (on TV). It's a good time to be famous. Either you're going to be famous in a good way, oR a bad way, and I want to be famous in a good way."Last year, Reds Game 2 starter Bronson Arroyo gave up a major league-leading 46 home runs, when no other pitcher in the major leagues surrendered more than 35 homers.This year, Arroyo's homers-allowed total was down to 26, with 16 on the road.So why are the Reds giving him a start on the road, when that's where he gives up the long ball?"We debated with that and we decided to come up with that because our ballpark is a tiny ballpark, and Arroyo has a tendency sometimes to give up home runs, and (Mat) Latos is more of a strikeouttype pitcher," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "That's why we went with what we did. Unless it works, you'll always be second guessing, do you know what I mean? If it works, you're great, if it doesn't work, then why didn't you have somebody else?"Latos coming in relief of injured starter Johnny Cueto made the point moot, of course, but even Arroyo acknowledged the sites of the Games 2 and 3 made the call obvious with AT&T Park a spacious pitcher's paradise, compared the Great American Ballpark's bandbox.GUTIERREZ: Baker flips script on Giants in Game 1 victory
"It's a world of difference," Arroyo said."We talk about it all the time, different ballparks, but these basically two are about as far apart in the game as you can get, especially in here, the ball not traveling that great and it plays big everywhere, and our ballpark plays tiny everywhere."So it's a huge advantage for our starting staff and theirs as well to be able to pound the strike zone a little more, have some more room for error and not worrying about balls on the outer half to righty being flicked over the right field wall as they can in our place. So it's going to be interesting because both sides have to deal with the same dimensions of these ballparks and how different it's going to be to play at one place versus the other."Cueto, on when he first felt a discomfort: "When I was throwing long toss, nothing happened, everything was feeling well.As I went to the bullpen, I was warming up and everything went perfect. It was only on the last two throws when I felt a sharp pain on my right side.Then I was getting ready to go back to the dugout, I just went and talked to the head trainer and told him about. He put some heat on it"The Reds have won the first game of a postseason series eight previous times and have won the series seven times. Included in that run -- the 1919 World Series against the Chicago White Sox, also known as the Black Sox Scandal...closer Aroldis Chapman's final four pitches of the night, to Buster Posey, were clocked at 99, 100, 100 and 100 mph.

More Team Talk