Another ace, another dominating performance.
Philadelphia, trying to become the first NL team in 66 years to win three straight pennants, will host San Francisco or Atlanta in the NLCS opener on Saturday. The Giants beat the Braves 3-2 Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five division series.
“Having three starters definitely helps,” Hamels said. “The playoffs are all about pitching.”
The Reds, making their first postseason appearance in 15 years, committed six errors in the last two games of the series after finishing second in the NL with a club-record .988 fielding percentage during the regular season.
The NL’s top offense also stalled in three playoff games, managing just 11 hits.
Hamels got Joey Votto to ground into a double play after Brandon Phillips‘ leadoff single in the ninth, then struck out Scott Rolen to end the game. The lanky left-hander threw 119 pitches in his first postseason complete game, 82 for strikes.
After Rolen struck out for the eighth time in the series, Hamels pumped his fist and the Phillies celebrated with a few chest bumps and a handshake line before returning to the locker room for more champagne.
Of course, it all looked very routine — Charlie Manuel’s team has practiced this a lot over the past couple of years.
Utley, greeted with loud boos and chants of “Cheater! Cheater!” before each at-bat, connected against Johnny Cueto in the fifth, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. It was his 10th career postseason homer, moving him past teammate Jayson Werth and into first on the club’s career list.
Utley started Philadelphia’s winning rally in Game 2 when he was hit by a pitch from hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning. The All-Star second baseman acknowledged after the game he wasn’t sure if the ball hit him, and a record crowd of 44,599 at Great American Ball Park made it clear what it thought of the play.
Umpires reviewed Utley’s drive to right-center to see if a fan interfered with the ball, but the replays were conclusive and the call was quickly upheld.
No cheating here. Just another timely drive for the NL East champs.View Entire Story
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