In the opener there was Roy Halladay's no-hitter, just the second postseason no-hitter in history. But in Game 2, Cincinnati leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips nearly went that one better, hitting a home run, a single and a double in his first three at-bats. That left him a triple shy of the first postseason cycle when he came to bat in the seventh and popped out.
But wait, there's more.
The Reds committed a league-low 72 errors during the regular season but made two on consecutive two-out plays in the fifth inning Friday, leading to a pair of unearned runs for Philadelphia. Then they made two on the same play in the seventh, when Jay Bruce missed Jimmy Rollins' line drive to right and Phillips dropped the relay at second, allowing two unearned runs to score.
Three innings earlier the Reds got a free run of their own when Chase Utley committed two errors, sandwiched around a Roy Oswalt wild pitch.
But wait, there's even more.
In the sixth inning, Cincinnati relievers Arthur Rhodes and Logan Ondrusek hit consecutive batters to load the bases. An inning later flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman hit Utley on the hand with a 102-mph fastball. The Reds hit just 50 batters all season; only six L teams hit fewer. Yet on Friday they plunked three in the span of four lineup spots.
Chapman, by the way, threw 21 pitches in the seventh inning, reaching 100 mph or more on 10 of them and hitting 99 on six others. If the Phillies were intimidated they didn't show it, scoring three times off the Cuban defector to take their first lead of the night.
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Philadelphia
Photo: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Phillies on Friday night. Credit: Christopher Barth / EPA