NLDS Gameday: Phillies at Reds, Game 3

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sun, October 10, 2010 05:33 PM | Comments: 72
2010 Gameday, Posts

Philadelphia Phillies (2-0) at Cincinnati Reds (0-2)

Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.06 ERA)  vs. Johnny Cueto (12-7, 3.64 ERA)
Atlanta Braves

Time: 8:07 p.m., Great American Ball Park
Clear, 73
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We’re on the precipice of history, here, Nation. Believe it or not, despite making 13 trips to the postseason, collecting seven pennants and two World Series titles along the way, the Phillies have never, not once, swept a playoff series. Tonight, Cole Hamels, who won the playoff MVP double in 2008, takes the ball in attempt to rectify that situation. So far, it’s taken some concentrated, if not not particularly consistent, hitting (plus a little help from the Reds’ defense) to beat Cincinnati twice. Almost all of the Phillies’ starters are hitting. The problem is that none of them are hitting particularly well–only Raul Ibanez has an OPS over .750. As the series turns to The Nasty ‘Natti, La Furia Roja will try to break out their bats against Johnny Cueto.

Seldom do Philly fans need a reason to boo an opposing pitcher lustily, but tonight’s Reds starter, Johnny Cueto, gives us a real doozy. Remember that benches-clearing fracas between the Reds and Cardinals a couple months back? It was one of the few baseball fights that looked more like a real fight than a baseball fight, which we all thought was awesome at the time. But what came to light later was that Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue suffered a concussion in the fight. LaRue is a member of that most likable of baseball fraternities, the light-hitting career backup catcher. In 12 major league seasons, LaRue didn’t contribute much of anything on the diamond, posting a .712 OPS in 922 games, but he was that hackneyed “calming veteran presence” on several teams, was erudite on camera, and, at least from what I’ve read, was well-liked well-respected throughout the sport. Guys like that tend to go on to become managers (for evidence, see Bruce Bochy, Buck Martinez, Joe Girardi, and, if you want to step into the wayback machine, Connie Mack).

Anyway, the last thing LaRue will do in a major league uniform is take a boot to the head. Remember that guy pressed up against the backstop, flinging his cleats wildly at anyone who approached? Johnny Cueto. One of his kicks caught LaRue on the head, and just like that, career over. So don’t feel bad if he gets lit up tonight.

In order for Cole Hamels to slam the door on Cincy’s collective fingers tonight, he’ll have to continue to keep the middle of their order in check. The Reds’ 3-4 hitters, presumptive ML MVP Joey Votto and former Phillie Scott Rolen, are a combined 1-for-13 in this series through two games, and with Brandon Phillips hitting well ahead of them (to say nothing of the removal of offensive albatross Orlando Cabrera from the lineup), it will be of paramount importance to Hamels and whatever relievers Uncle Cholly uses to keep Votto and Rolen from driving in those baserunners.

Oh, and I had forgotten about this little tidbit until @Utley4God brought it up on Twitter, but the last time Cueto and Hamels opposed each other, on July 6, 2009, Hamels allowed a Jonny Gomes solo homer and two other hits in seven innings of work. Cueto allowed nine earned runs on five hits (including a two-run double by Hamels himself) in only 2/3 of an inning. The Phils won that game 22-1.

Today’s Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Hamels P

Victory Lager

Your gameday beer: Victory Storm King Stout

This beer gets the nod for three reasons: 1) the name 2) it’s a local beverage 3) it led to a good night in Ohio for me once, a tradition I trust the Phillies will follow this evening. I had been drinking Victory stouts for a while at the Draught Horse near Temple University when I went to pick up a six-pack for a party I was attending in Columbus. At this point, I didn’t know that Victory made two stouts: Donnybrook Stout (an Irish stout which, depending on my mood, I actually prefer to Guinness) and Storm King Stout (an Imperial stout). Excited to see a Philly Metro brewery’s wares on offer in Ohio, I picked up a sixer of the Storm King, unaware that, at 9.1% ABV, it has nearly three times the alcohol content of Donnybrook. What I expected to be a quiet night (for me, at least) turned into something of a rager. Here’s to unexpected ragers.

-by Michael

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 0 Sweet Dee

    No one should be worried. KING COLE has got this. Do work, boys!

  • Hamels has allowed 1ER or less in 6 of his 7 career starts against the Reds. Hamels is 6-0 w/a 1.07 ERA lifetime against CIN.


  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Johnny Cueto is a genuine creep. I hope he gets shelled.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Changed my link. Last one worked justttt fine… let’s hope this one works just as well.

    KING COLE on the mound! GO PHILS!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Nice link Manny.
    I think the Phils got this. If somehow they dont win tonight.
    Big Roy tomorrow.

    Lets not give them any signs of life though.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Yankees swept so lets keep pace.
    Rays fighting back and I guess are favored in a game 5
    Regardless Rangers now will burn Lee in game 5
    so he wont go vs the spankees in a game 1. TB was my AL pick all along.

    Watching the Braves-Giants 1-0 SF in the 7th
    Memo to the manager of the Giants dont use Brain Wilson in the 8th tonight and dont even consider Linceum on short rest for a game 4.
    I am pretty sure he understands both of theses things already though.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Scary pitching by the Giants… Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez are all legit. I’m rooting for the Braves right now and also hoping that their NLDS goes to five games.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Look at the crowd @ Turner Field… 80% of them don’t have any Braves gear…not even a cap!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    They didnt even sell out till after they won game 2.
    A truly pathetic bunch.

    Jave mad respect for Giants. If manager doesnt blwo game 2 they are going for the sweep here.
    Regardless of tongihts outcome you save Timmy for a game 5.
    So yea we want braves to win one of these to at least force a game 5 so we wouldnt face timmy in a game 1.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Im off to watch the game
    talk to everyone after the sweep
    go phils

  • Posts: 0 loupossehl

    Braves go ahead in the 8th. If the lead holds, Giants will use Lincecum on 3 days’ rest???

    If so and if the lead holds, either Braves win – who will then be taken to the woodshed by the Phillies, or the Giants come out on top, but with a used-up Freak.

    Just what the Doctor ordered.

  • LETS DO THIS!!!!

  • Ryan Madson revealed today that he wears a Miguel Cairo “looking” mask as a pregame ritual this postseason.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    No you save Lincecum
    f you are down 2-1 even if you win game 4 there is a game 5

    but the braves do it again! Bring them on. Or at least goto a game 5 and make the Giants burn Lincecum.

    really leaving now
    go phils!

  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    Let’s get out the brooms for a sweep! Do this King Cole!

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Always nice to see Jimmy taking pitches. Ibanez should never bat behind anyone this undisciplined.

  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    I think Valdez needs to replace Jimmy

  • Posts: 0 psujoe


    Just logged on to post the same thing. Had Cueto up to 20 pitches so Jimmy swings and makes an out on the 1st pitch. Raul batted 6th all year and Charlie had to change it.

  • Posts: 0 biz


    My biggest beef with Charlie is how he caters to Jimmy’s ego over what’s best for the team. Jimmy should bat 8th. He’s the weakest link in this lineup.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Shane made a FABULOUS catch, but Chooch still owns THE play of this series.

    A shame Cole’s not getting his corners, but he got through the first. Now he can relax and just pitch.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    I’ll bet Jimmy takes a pitch his next AB.

  • Posts: 0 ChuckS

    the phils are hitting the ball hard, before too long they will stop being at someone

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Cole’s looking strong. The only hard hit the Reds have was an out. Those 2 dribblers were weak. He’s got good stuff tonight. Hopefully we can tack a few more on Cueto, he looks like he’s ready to give up a few runs.

  • Posts: 0 Mike

    TBS play by play is the worst

  • Posts: 0 Mike

    Nice hustle from the big man

  • Posts: 0 Tracey

    When are these guys going to figure out that Ryan can hit to the left?

  • Posts: 0 Tracey


  • Posts: 0 Tracey

    I love the look on Utley’s face when somebody told him what’s going on.

  • Posts: 0 steven

    Just a comment…stupid to put the Cincinnati Reds logo as your graphic for game night. Are we reds fans? Are we rooting for them over the Phillies? Give me a sick graphic of Cole throwing a nasty change up or something, there is no reason for that Reds graphic….


  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Is tonight the night King Cole goes the distance?

    Honestly, I think the review of Utley’s homer was the right thing to do. On further review, there’s no way Stubbs had that ball, but on first viewing, I was cringing at the fan’s glove catching it.

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Cole’s dealing tonight.

  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    Hamels is so efficient tonight.

  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    and down goes Votto!!

  • Posts: 0 AC in NJ

    76 pitches through 6 innings…Hamels may be able to go all the way at this pace.

    Is Joe Buck going to start calling the games once the Phils hit the NLCS? Cause I can’t stand Joe Buck.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Been watching – wow, Cole is tossing some fire tonight!
    I knew there would be some lumber, and I dont think the Phils are done yet.

  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    Cole is dealin’!!! I have a serious beef with rollins though

  • Posts: 0 Me

    i agree that this play-by-play is pretty bad but ive started doing some play-by-play myself for my local school district tv station & its A LOT harder than we all think… just saying… i really have a new appreciation for what announcers can do… especially the colors cuz my color the other day for a volleyball match was terrible & had to ask me how many points they play to in a game and stuff like that (luckily i play volleyball)

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    What are you talking about kate?
    Cole is at 94 pitches, 7 innings of work. I’m thinking he comes out and we see Madson.
    Anyone else?

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I think you’re right Brooks, a couple of hard hit balls last inning. We’ll see.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Go Cole Go!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    105 pitches, that has to be it!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    BK, are you going to explain your beef with Jimmy?

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    On second thought….

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Chapman is hittable

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Oh boy… quick trigger I hope

  • Posts: 0 Brooks


  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Wooooooooooooo DP!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Cole the Great!

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Incredible job by Hamels. It was not a no-hitter but still impressive in the way he went to the other team’s stadium and dominate. Congrats the Phils on their first ever sweep. This team is truly amazing. The Phils’ pitching just stopped the best offensive team in the NL cold. Bring on the Braves or Giants.

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