Covering the Bases: Game 61
Reds 5, Indians 3
FIRST: So what is right-hander Jeff Stevens up to these days? Because Brandon Phillips certainly has done well for himself with the Reds. Stevens, for those who aren’t already painfully aware, was the player to be named that Cleveland received after shipping Phillips off to the Reds in April of 2006.
Enough time has flown by that much of the sting should be gone. Sure, Phillips turned into a two-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glover, but the Indians have an All-Star worthy second baseman now in Jason Kipnis, and last time I checked Phillips didn’t have any World Series rings on his fingers.
Still, Phillips has had a knack for haunting his old club.
In the Tribe’s loss on Wednesday, all he did was go 3-for-3 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs. He also made a highlight-reel barehanded grab-and-throw on a Lonnie Chisenhall chopper up the middle in the sixth. If it makes you feel any better, Derek Lowe hit Phillips with a pitch in the fifth.
In his career against the Indians, Phillips has hit .347 (50-for-144) with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 37 games.
SECOND: Lowe wasn’t his sharpest, but he was nonetheless effective for the Indians. The sinkerballer worked with 12 baserunners (six walks, five hits and one hit batsmen), but limited the Reds to three runs. That goes down as a quality start, but it also goes in the books as a loss. That said, Lowe certainly did his part.
“If you look at the game, it’s about the best you could hope for, really,” Lowe said. “A lot of baserunners and you come out with only having given up three runs. That’s pretty hard to do. But the bottom line is we were able to prevent the big inning that would have taken us completely out of the game. You have to look at something positive out of it.”
THIRD: Indians manager Manny Acta was quick to note his club’s offensive missteps in this loss, especially in the fourth inning. The Tribe loaded the bases with no outs and got just one run out of it. Acta said teams should be able to get a run or two “by accident” in that kind of situation. Ouch. On the evening, Cleveland went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
But, hey, how about that Jose Lopez homer on a 100-mph pitch from Aroldis Chapman in the ninth?
HOME: In the fifth inning, Reds starter Mat Latos fired a 96-mph fastball a bit too far inside for Lowe’s liking. After the game, Lowe had some harsh words for Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker. The pitcher insinuated that Baker has been instructing his pitchers to throw at Lowe for years. See the previous blog post for more information. A story will land on Indians.com and MLB.com soon as well.
Indians (32-29) at Reds (34-27)
at 12:35 p.m. ET Thursday at Great American Ball Park