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 Philly Texan

    Oh yeah!!!! Clinching never gets old!

    Hamels was fantastic tonight. And I love that he finished it himself. He’s learning from Halladay.

    Go Phils!!! Let’s keep rolling!

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Great game. This was not only a stellar performance by Hamels, but a game that sends a resounding message to the rest of the playoff teams. The Phils are the team to beat. Awesome pitching.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Cole PHucking Hamels for the complete game shut-out and clincher!

    Good for you, Cole! You EARNED it back!

    I’m so pumped up happy for him!


  • Posts: 0 jeff

    boy this room is filled tonight. lol…not

    hey howard you waste. give back that money. god he s u c k s….

    kate can hit better.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty


    It just keeps getting better. Cole is a beast.

  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    @brooks I just don’t think he should be hitting where he is in the lineup. Charlie caters to him way too much. Just a personal opinion though.


  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    H2 – 18 IP- 5 H- 15K- 0ER- 1BB
    O- Will come back strong in NLCS

  • Great game by King Cole, love to see him just deal and sit these guys down. How great is that they clinch with our good buddy Scotty Rolen striking out on a 95 MPH high heat. Bet you wish you were still in PHilly now Scotty don’t you. That was agreat exclamation point fast ball by Cole.
    I know it is way early but do you all think Charlie will keep the same rotation, with the Roy’s going back to back then Cole then Blanton. I think Cole is the real number two, but if the series goes seven, Cole would pitch game seven if he is the third starter.
    Man this is going to be a long week till Saturday. PHILLIES sweep into the NCS.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Cole was brilliant… Would like to see the Bats step it up a little bit…Where are the Victorino haters?

  • Posts: 0 betasigmadeltashag

    I would not mind moving Jimmy down to seventh, but do not be surprised if the week off for Jimmy gets him to 100 percent that he does not move back up to lead off, I know all you would hate that but it may happen. Love to see the sweep but now a week off for the offense, not so worried about the pitching, but the offense sometimes struggles with long lay offs especially Ryan Jason and Raul, even JRoll since he never really got rolling all year

  • Phillies are off until Saturday. Rich Dubee said he is already planning simulated games for the week to keep the pitchers sharp.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Give it up for our New Red Machine ORIGINAL ACE Cole Hamels!

    He deserved the clincher!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Why does Cole love Cincinatti so much? Unreal, he owns the Reds.
    This was the best that I have seen Cole pitch and over the last 3 years, I have seen him pitch a lot – including the 15 strike out game. His fast ball was at premium tonight for Cole.
    This team is pretty unbeatable once Ryan & Jayson start hitting, its over for anyone in their way.

  • Posts: 0 biz

    jeff Says:
    October 10th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    boy this room is filled tonight. lol…not

    hey howard you waste. give back that money. god he s u c k s….


    Im sorry, jeff, is it your money? Is there a salary cap?

    Leave it to your miserable ass to be posting negative stuff after we move on the the NLCS.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    Saving Cole to pitch in Cincy was a brilliant move by Charlie and Dubee. He loves that park,

    Wouldn’t be surprised if they reversed the order in the NLCS and went Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt……

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Big WIN
    Cole is officially the man. You hear him after the game?
    Dudes a new person. Certainly compared to last year.
    This team is going to be a very tough out.
    charlie left cole in to put his balls on the platter and Cole stepped up. The Votto DP was amazing. After all they talked him up.
    Got a week to kill now.

    @ Jeff and Biz. I can make the case that Howard is 20% over paid. But then again hes the 1b I want for the next 2 series so why bother?

    Everybody cheer for the Braves. We want it to go 5. if it goes 5 the Giants burn Timmy in a game 5 anyway. Its win win. And heck if the Braves win the series ( highly unlikely). We could start KK Blanton and Conteras in the NLCS and sweep them.


  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    The OLD MAN always does it right.
    Win 2 more series and hes a hall of famer.
    Then comes the statue at CBP

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    I officially feel bad for Brooks Conrad. Hope he wins game 4.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Well at least Chase got a HR…we need Werth or Howard to step up a notch…these are the big guys the3 big money guys..the Reds had a chance in Game 2 they blew it…I would like to see Roy 2 as the 3rd starter but the long lay off might be a bad thing..Roy2 is certainly capable of shutting down Giants/Braves…we need a lil more run production…

  • Posts: 0 Marcus Galicia

    I agree, a lot of thanks to the write. for taking the time to share this, fabulous site.

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