On a day filled with sadness for so many, baseball played on. On Jackie Robinson Day, and only a few hours after the horrifying explosions in Boston, the Phillies and Reds’ starters went toe-to-toe in a terrific pitcher’s duel. Unfortunately, the Phillies came up on the losing end of a 4-2 outing to the Reds.
Above is one of the greatest catches I have ever seen. It might be one of the greatest any of us have ever seen. Keep your eyes on it. It’s just as incredible the 100th time you watch it as it is the first.
It’s up there with the likes of Griffey, Mays, Edmonds, and some of the greatest plays ever made in center field.
As for the game itself….
LEE AND ARROYO IN CONTROL
– Cliff Lee was pretty excellent again tonight. He was aided by his man in center field, who also made another great catch up against the wall later on the game. Lee was fully in control through six, allowing only three hits to that point. But a Joey Votto single and Brandon Phillips double that should have been caught by Michael Young got Lee in trouble. A passed ball through the five hole of Erik Kratz allowed Votto to score and a 12 pitch walk from Jay Bruce, Lee’s first walk in eleven months, seemed to telegraph Lee’s demise. Lee would induce a double play to keep the game at 2-0.
– Not to be outdone, Bronson Arroyo pitched a heck of a game himself, going eight innings, scattering five hits, allowing 2 earned while striking out three to earn the win.
UTLEY’S CLUTCH HOMER
– Chase Utley came to the plate in the eighth for Cliff Lee and did something the other Phillies couldn’t seem to do: got good wood on the ball and drove a Bronson Arroyo fastball deep into center field for a two-run homer to tie the game 2-2.
BAD LUCK BULLPEN
– More than anything, bad luck did the Phillies in tonight. Jeremy Horst entered the bottom of the eighth with the game tied 2-2. Speedster Derrick Robinson got the worst contact I have ever seen off a batted ball and turned it into a single, forcing Horst to field the ball to his right, with no chance to get him at first. Two batters later, Zack Cozart doubled on a lightly hit ball to right that Laynce Nix narrowly missed as he overran on a sliding catch attempt. Horst’s night wrapped up with an intentional walk to Votto. Mike Adams relieved Horst and gave up a two-run single to Phillips on a letter-high fastball that was about an inch away from being in Freddy Galvis‘s glove.
The Reds took a 4-2 lead and Aroldis Chapman closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save of the year.