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Brandon Phillips’ star turn guides Reds to Game 1 win

Oct 7, 2012, 1:05 AM EDT

Brandon Phillips, Marco Scutaro Getty Images

Sure he’s a two-time All-Star, but maybe Brandon Phillips is feeling a little anonymous in Cincinnati. He certainly increased his profile Saturday as the Reds beat the Giants 5-2 in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Let’s run through the highlights:

– Phillips opened the scoring in the third with a two-run homer off Matt Cain. It was the first homer allowed by Cain in four career postseason starts. In fact, the those were the first two earned runs he had given up in 24 innings of postseason work.

– In the fifth, Phillips barehanded the ball on successive plays. First, he did it trying to turn a double play on a feed from Zack Cozart. However, the runner was able to beat out the strong relay. On the next play, he stuck his hand up and barehanded a grounder from Pablo Sandoval and threw to first to end the inning.

– The sixth inning saw Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco bunt down the first line. Reliever Mat Latos fielded the ball, but threw wide of Joey Votto at first base. Fortunately, Phillips, in a terrific display of heads-up baseball, was moving over from second to back up the play and made a diving stab of the baseball, keeping Blanco at first base.

– Phillips led off the eighth with a single, only to apparently get erased on a double play. But he didn’t. He managed to elude Marco Scutaro‘s tag by falling down, and he got up and ran to second after Scutaro threw to first.

– The cherry on top: Phillips singled in a run in the top of the ninth, increasing Cincinnati’s lead from 3-1 to 4-1.

Mat Latos, Jay Bruce and Sam LeCure also did splendid work picking up the Reds after Johnny Cueto‘s first-inning injury tonight, but this was Phillips’ show. He’s now 7-for-15 with two homers in four career postseason games. Tonight’s was the first that wasn’t a Reds loss.

  1. footballchic777 - Oct 7, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Great night for BP and the Reds! Took what could have been a disastrous Game 1 and came away with the W!

  2. jdd428 - Oct 7, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    That diving stop backing up first on the bunt was flat out the best backup play I have ever seen.

  3. wfon1 - Oct 7, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Im rootin for Dusty. Go Reds.

  4. ispysomething7 - Oct 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Curse you Eric Wedge!!!

  5. Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Scott Rolen fielded the bal though Kontos almost got in his way. That probably made it difficult for Rolen to throw properly to first base, plus Blanco’s speed of course.

    • blacubed - Oct 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      George Kontos couldn’t get in Rolen’s way of fielding the ball, because Kontos was pitching for the Giants. However, Mat Latos could and did.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        I blame Matthew, before he updated the post it said Kontos. I will take a screen shot next time.

  6. Fink - Oct 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    If this were any other team in the playoffs, there would be no mistake like saying Kontos was pitching for the Reds. Just goes to show how little the media care about Cincinnati. After the Reds won last night, the commentators sounded like someone had just died. Really sad when the 2nd best team in the MLB can’t get any love, but its fine, we’ll settle for rings instead of having people like Pouliot drool over us.

  7. Fink - Oct 7, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Oh, and also, to say that Brandon Phillips is anonymous in Cincinnati is not only ignorant, but very half-assed reporting. Anyone that follows the 2nd best team in the MLB knows that BP is probably the MVP of this team this year. But it’s good to see non-biased reporting on this site for once.

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