After taking two of three from the Marlins, the Phillies gave the ball to Cliff Lee, as they took on Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. Despite the fact that the Reds came into the night on a five game losing streak, the Phillies entered game on of the series, looking to make a statement against a Reds team that is likely to make a deep playoff run.
And just to mention, all players wore number 42 tonight, to honor the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB’s color barrier.
Both Lee and Arroyo pitched pretty well tonight, as the game was scoreless through the first six and half innings. While Lee didn’t get much from the bats tonight, he got help in the field, including this incredible grab from Ben Revere, which many are calling the early favorite for catch of the year.
But, as I mentioned above, tonight’s game was scorless for the first six and half innings, before a wild pitch and a Todd Fraizer sac fly put the Reds up 2-0 after seven.
The way that the Phillies lineup has hit coupled with how Bronson Arroyo was pitching, it really felt as though the Phillies would end up losing this game 2-0, and Cliff Lee would take a loss after pitching his third consecutive tremendous start to begin the season. But then Chase Utley happened.
Fresh off the bench, as Freddy Galvis spelled Utley at second tonight, Chase delievered a two-run, game-tying, pinch-hit bomb, that made Phillies fans stand up and in their best Harry Kalas impression say “Chase Utley you are the man!”. And so far this season, Chase appears to have the power back in his bat, much like the Chase Utley that Harry Kalas made those calls about.
Unfortunately in the eight inning Jeremy Horst loaded up the bases, and left Mike Adams with a mess to try to clean up. And he wasn’t able to. Adams got Brandon Phillips to hit the ball to second, but because Freddy Galvis was playing in double play depth, he wasn’t able to get to the ball, and it found its way into right. And Laynce Nix, awful excuse for a throw allowed the Reds to score two on the play.
In the top half of ninth, the Phillies trio of Freddy Galvis, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard was no match for Aroldis Chapman, who is just lights out as a closer. Chapman’s perfect mix of his 100 plus MPH fastball and 90 MPH breaking pitches have allowed him to develop into one of the MLB’s best young closers, and that was on display tonight, as he sent the Phillies down one-two-three in the ninth, to give the Reds a 4-2 win in game one of this three game set.