MLB

Phils sweep Reds to advance to NLCS

Hear from the Phillies after they swept the Reds in the NLDS.
Hear from the Phillies after they swept the Reds in the NLDS.
Share This Story

   
 

CINCINNATI

Cole Hamels completed what Roy Halladay started, putting the Philadelphia Phillies back in the NL championship series.

Another ace, another dominating performance.

Hamels struck out nine in a five-hitter, Chase Utley homered and the Phillies beat the Reds> 2-0 on Sunday night to finish off the franchise's first playoff sweep.

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.

Halladay opened this matchup with the second no-hitter in postseason history. With Hamels and Roy Oswalt> also rested and ready to go for the next round, look out.

"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 managed only 11 hits in three games — the fewest for a team in a postseason series, according to STATS LLC. The previous low was 13 by Texas against the New York Yankees in 1998.

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.

"I think when you have that playoff experience and you've been able to go to the World Series the past two years in row, you know what it takes to get there," Hamels said. "We don't want to get too carried away. ... We're just going to move on and play the best baseball we can."

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.

The Reds never regained their footing after Halladay shut them down in the series opener. The surprise NL Central winners led 4-0 in Game 2 but quickly fell apart, committing four errors in a gut-wrenching 7-4 loss that put them on the brink of elimination.

Hamels took it from there.

The 2008 World Series MVP, quite the luxury to have as a No. 3 starter in the postseason, increased his perfect mark against Cincinnati to 7-0 in eight career starts. He also improved to 6-3 in 11 postseason outings.

MLB

HE DID IT!

Derek Jeter is the first Yankee to collect 3,000 hits. See the best shots from the celebration.

"I have that sort of positive energy every time I come here," Hamels said.

Hamels allowed only two runners to reach second and none of the Reds got to third. He also got some help from his defense in the first when center fielder Shane Victorino sprinted into the gap in left-center to grab Phillips' liner with speedy Drew Stubbs on first.

Cincinnati's fielders were not so helpful to Cueto.

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera, a late addition to the lineup, made an errant throw in the first that allowed Placido Polanco to score an unearned run, quieting the towel-waving crowd desperate for something to cheer about. Third baseman Scott Rolen mishandled Carlos Ruiz's grounder in the sixth but Homer Bailey got Hamels to fly out to end the inning.

Cincinnati chased nemesis Oswalt early in Game 2, but was still impressed with the Phillies' trio of starters.

"Those three alone can probably take them to the World Series and win it," Votto said.

C'MON BLUE!

Umpiring has been called into question this postseason. Check out the worst calls.

Hamels closed the regular season with a flourish, going 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his final seven starts, and picked up right where he left off. He walked none and was in complete control throughout.

Cabrera aggravated his injured left side Friday night and was in danger of being removed from the postseason roster before he fielded grounders and took batting practice prior to Game 3. Reds manager Dusty Baker decided to insert him into the lineup after he said he felt fine, removing slick-fielding Paul Janish.

The move backfired in the first. With two outs and runners on the corners, Werth hit a grounder to Cabrera and his throw pulled Votto off the bag at first. Cabrera raised his left shoulder after the play, stretching out his side, and went 0 for 3 at the plate.

NOTES: Hall of Fame 2B Joe Morgan, wearing his No. 8 Reds jersey, got a standing ovation when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Morgan was the NL MVP when the Reds won the World Series in 1975 and 1976. ... It was an unseasonably warm 77 degrees at first pitch.

Tagged: Reds, Phillies, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Rolen, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Joey Votto, Homer Bailey

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..