Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bengals Latest And Phillips Fakes

I made it out to see some Bengals players working out on their own yesterday at Ignition in Mason. Click here to see the story.

The Reds had another interesting ninth inning on Wednesday afternoon. Perhaps most interesting was Brandon Phillips plate appearance. With men on first and second with nobody out and the Reds trailing by a run, Phillips decided it was a good time to bunt. He squared around on the first pitch, then took it for a ball. The next pitch he doesn't square around and takes a strike. So now I'm wondering what in the world is going on? Is he bunting or not. Manager Dusty Baker was wondering the same thing. He didn't give the bunt sign at any point to Brandon. He wanted Brandon to swing away. Phillips just thought it was the right thing to do. He wanted to move the runners to second and third with one out. I thought that was the safe play too. So Phillips squared around on the third pitch but took it for ball two. So then Phillips looks down to third base and sees Mark Berry give a fist pump as if to say "hit the dang thing!" So Brandon figured what the heck, I'm giving up on this idea of a sacrifice and swinging away. He comes through with a single to score the tying run, and Jay Bruce finished the game with the walk off double on the very next pitch. Brandon's situation was very interesting for the baseball purists. If he hits into a double play, or fails to move the runners with pop out or a fielder's choice, it would have been "second-guess city" for Baker. But Dusty gives his players plenty of rope to allow his players to success, and it's worked very well with this bunch.

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