For the second time this series, the Phillies watched a win materialize without having to do much work.
Summary: First it was Roy Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1. Tonight, the Phillies benefited from shoddy defense and shaky relief in watching a 4-0 deficit turn into a 7-4 surplus and a 2-0 series lead. The go-ahead moment came when Jay Bruce misplayed a fly ball in right, apparently losing it in the lights, allowing two runs to score with second baseman Brandon Phillips booting the relay throw from Bruce. Five of the Phillies' seven runs were unearned as the typically reliable Reds' defense committed four errors. Meanwhile, their bullpen, considered a strength, hit three batters. All of them scored. The Phils tallied eight hits - all singles - while five relievers (Romero, Durbin, Contreras, Madson, Lidge) collaborated on four shutout innings.
Beerleaguer: The Phillies weren't great, but great teams find ways to win games like these. Case in point: How an inexperienced Reds bullpen coughed up a lead while the veteran Phillies were biding their time for the game to break the other way. That's not to say the Phils did much to earn this win. Roy Oswalt couldn't find the plate, the defense had its own problems and the offense was just so-so. This was mostly about a leaky Cincinnati defense, players you wouldn't expect to fail: Scott Rolen, Phllips and Bruce, who had been very sharp this series until that play.
Still, there are some small wins here. Shane Victorino's bases-loaded walk being one of them. Total focus so far this postseason. He's been a superb lead-off hitter for weeks. Chase Utley is back to being Chase Utley. I like what's happening with the bench; Mike Sweeney gets a hit, Domonic Brown legs out a fielder's choice and causes some unease with his speed. The bench was a huge problem last fall. And of course, Brad Lidge passed the first test.